ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  July 30, 2014




Countless times, alumni have told me that our advocacy training opportunities were a critical part of their professional preparation. They share stories about favorites classes, a big moot court win (or loss), or arguing a case in special competitions. These are moments they savor, and they are experiences that we seek to create for all of our students.


In last week's Letter of the Law, we described several of our competition teams, as well as our recently launched Civil Justice Initiative and our plan to create the Tom Mauet Center for Advocacy -- which generated a number of enthusiastic responses. This week, we continue to showcase the advocacy competitions that help our grads succeed in a keenly competitive work environment.


Until the footnotes,




Richard Grand Damages Argument Competition


This year, we will celebrate 15 years of the Richard Grand Damages Argument Competition. It is a symbol of Richard Grand's lasting tradition of "Grand Ideas" for future lawyers.


The event is an Arizona Law oral argument competition that emphasizes the presentation of damages evidence in personal injury cases. Student finalists present mock closing arguments on the issue of how much in damages should be awarded in a civil lawsuit. 


The competition is funded by the late Richard Grand, a 1958 graduate of the College of Law. Grand began his practice in Tucson as a deputy county attorney. In 1962, he went into private practice, representing plaintiffs. On more than 100 occasions he obtained either a verdict or settlement in excess of $1 million.


Richard Grand passed away in April 2013. His generosity to the law school continues through the support of his wife, Marcia Grand, and the Richard Grand Foundation.


Joseph Jenckes Closing Arguments Competition

Robson Hauser ('14), Professor Tom Mauet, and Sean Kelly ('14)


As another friendly game plays out between the goalposts each fall, the Jenckes Competition is the premier (if somewhat less well known) "north of Speedway" event. The annual contest with ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law involves students working in pairs to deliver a closing trial argument. 


Topics have included a civil action resulting from a devastating highway collision between two tractor-trailer trucks, and a criminal defendant being tried for murder after a road rage incident turned deadly.


For 33 years, Professor Tom Mauet has coached the Arizona Law Jenckes Team, bringing home the Jenckes Cup time after time. Two-time Jenckes participant (and two-time champion!) Robson Hauser ('14) describes his Jenckes team experience:


"Learning from Tom Mauet is as good as it gets. I've been using his books since I was a freshman in college, and to get to learn from him in a one-on-one setting is incredible. He was a big part of my decision to come to Arizona. I've received the best training I could have ever hoped for."


Named for the late Joseph S. Jenckes ('61), an alum and prominent Phoenix attorney, the competition is sponsored and judged by members of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). Jenckes was a Fellow in the ACTL. In 2004, citing Tom's outstanding work in preparing students for trial practice, the ACTL awarded the prestigious Gumpert Prize to Arizona Law.


I am proud to say that Arizona Law has held the Jenckes Cup for a record four straight years. And, with all modesty, we have high hopes for a fifth! 


This year's competition will be held on November 14 at Arizona Law (5pm in Room 164). Mark your calendar and support the team!


Transactional LawMeet®Team


The Arizona Law Transactional LawMeet® Team, coached by Professor Billy Sjostrom, offers students the chance to engage in negotiations and agreement drafting in real-world business issues.


The transactional competitions, which are relatively new in the legal education community, feature problems such as an indemnification agreement, renegotiation of a stock purchase agreement, and an executive compensation agreement. In addition to skill development, students gain visibility with some of the top business law firms in the country who sponsor the competition.


Our Transactional Team works with the faculty in the Business Law Program (BLP) to dissect the problem. Before the competition, students draft an agreement. On the day of the competition, they will negotiate and revise their agreements with the goal of a resolution.


Greg Laver ('14)

Greg Laver ('14) was heavily involved in the LawMeet competitions, and in helping the law school more generally in expanding our advanced contract drafting resources.


"The LawMeet competitions are what I enjoyed most about law school. The experience drafting, redlining, and negotiating commercial contracts has helped me develop the skills necessary for success in my future career. In fact, my managers and the other attorneys I work with at Intel often comment on how effective I've been with minimal supervision -- a direct result of the practical training I have had through the LawMeet competitions."


Intellectual Property LawMeet®Team


Will Pew ('14)

The Arizona Law IP LawMeet® Team, coached by Professors Billy Sjostrom, Derek Bambauer, and Larry Hecker, provides students a meaningful and engaging simulation of a transactional intellectual property practice.


Students work in teams to draft a transactional agreement in which IP rights constitute a key element. Past topics have included structuring and negotiating a license agreement, developing a joint development agreement to explore the commercial potential of a new technology, and exploring both the legal and strategic aspects of cross-licensing deals.


Recent graduate Will Pew ('14), an incoming associate at the Hecker Law Firm, flourished in the competition.


"I looked forward to negotiating the terms of the deal. Once you are sitting across the table from an opposing party, it is all about working with your teammate to find common ground and move the deal forward. That requires careful listening and negotiating skills. It is a great opportunity to have some 'real-world' experience in this arena." 


Over the past few years Arizona Law has bolstered its commitment to Intellectual Property. We welcomed Professor Bambauer as head of the IP program, established the Quarles & Brady Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic, and created new internship opportunities such as the Copyright Fellowship with the UA Center for Creative Photography. IP continues to be an area of growing student interest and high career demand. 


Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Negotiation Competition


Arizona Law's Bankruptcy Negotiation Team highlights the college's strong business law program. The Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Negotiation Competition is one of the nation's newest competitions. The team is coached by longtime Adjunct Professor Robert M. Charles, Jr. ('82), who teaches Bankruptcy Reorganization at the college and is a partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber, based in the firm's Tucson office.


Students prepare and exchange bankruptcy term sheets prior to the competition, followed by two rounds of in-person negotiation. The recent competition concerned an out-of-court bankruptcy restructuring between a financially distressed California winery and an unofficial committee of its unsecured creditors. 


Our bankruptcy program, under the leadership of Professor Jean Braucher and Professor Larry Ponoroff, has a long history of training creditor and debtor advocates. From 2011 to 2014, Professor Braucher led a mortgage clinic where students, in collaboration with Southern Arizona Legal Aid, provided real estate related legal services to Arizona consumers.


Over the years, many Arizona Law grads have clerked for federal bankruptcy judges including Jill Perrella ('08), Steven Schneider ('13), and Michael Digiacomo ('14). And we are proud of the the Arizona Law grads who are members of the bankruptcy bench for the District of Arizona, including Chief Judge Dan Collins ('83), Judge Brenda Whinery ('85), Judge Eileen Hollowell ('82), and Judge George Nielsen, Jr. ('69).    


With this strength and this tradition, it is no surprise that in 2013 Arizona Law students Jeff Coe ('13), David Obrand ('13), and Brad Terry ('13) won the inaugural competition held at the USC Gould School of Law. 


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Jeff Coe ('13), Professor Rob Charles ('82), David Obrand ('13), and Brad Terry ('13)


Networking Noshes are Back: Join Us!


Help Arizona Law students and network! Our talented students are eager to engage with alumni and practice their networking skills. Alumni are encouraged to join us on the second Thursday of every month for a networking reception. 


Networking Noshes are held on campus and provide our students an opportunity to meet legal and business professionals, practice their networking skills, and learn about different practice areas. We are looking for interested alums who can join us at the law college for these events. Our first Networking Nosh will be September 11th. It is an informal reception and runs from 4:30 to 6pm. If you are interested in participating, please email us at


Coming soon!


Join Us: Arizona Law in Denver

August 11, 2014


Cocktail Reception

5:30 - 7:30 pm

The Corner Office 

1401 Curtis St.
Denver, CO 80202

RSVP for the reception here.


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Join Us: Arizona Law in Albuquerque

August 12, 2014


Cocktail Reception

5:00 - 7:00 pm 

Seasons Rotisserie & Grill  

2031 Mountain Road NW

Albuquerque, NM 87104

RSVP for the reception here.


* * *

SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Las Vegas

September 5, 2014


* * *

SAVE THE DATE - Rehnquist Center's Annual Constitution Day Program at the College of Law

September 15, 2014


* * *

SAVE THE DATE - Centennial Homecoming Weekend

November 7-9, 2014 

For more information, visit our Homecoming 2014 website.

For assistance with hotels or game tickets, please contact the alumni office.


* * *


Great students come to Arizona Law, and they receive first-rate training.  We have done well in competitions of all kinds -- but with your support, we could do more....far more.


We would welcome individual or law firm sponsorship and assistance with any of the Arizona Law competitive teams.  It is not inexpensive to send teams and coaches to competitions throughout the West and throughout the US -- and there are international competitions that our students would enjoy the opportunity to compete in as well.


If you would like to take the lead in sponsoring our legal Wildcats -- the Arizona Law teams described over the past two weeks, and others -- into competition, please contact us








Marc Signature      

Marc L. Miller 
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law 
James E. Rogers College of Law    

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