University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Moot Court Board Practitioner Coaches

Marc DeSimoneMarc DeSimone is the director of the Moot Court program and a 2004 graduate of the law school. Marc has coached the National Moot Court Team since 2005, and the teams he has coached have advanced to the National Championships on four occasions. During law school, Marc was a member of the National Moot Court team after being named best oral advocate in the 2003 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition. In recognition of his outstanding advocacy skills, Marc was inducted into the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers at graduation.

Professionally, Marc is an Assistant Public Defender in the Appellate Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, where he has handled several hundred appeals and has presented over 50 oral arguments before Maryland’s appellate courts. Marc’s trial-level advocacy includes personally arguing a state constitutional challenge to the Maryland death penalty statute, litigating a DNA exoneration matter, and successfully securing post-conviction relief on behalf of several clients who were incarcerated for several decades. Marc is also an adjunct faculty member of the law school and author of the chapter on criminal appeals in the Fourth Edition of Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer: State and Federal.  Prior to joining the Office of the Public Defender, Marc was in private practice and clerked for the Honorable Vanessa Ruiz, Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Derek SimmonsenDerek Simmonsen is the senior coach for the Moot Court program.  He is a former newspaper reporter and a 2012 graduate of the law school.  Derek was a finalist and won the best brief award at the 2011 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition. As a result, he was selected as a member of the National Moot Court Team. At the 2011-2012 National Moot Court Competition, his team was the runner-up regional winner and competed in the finals in New York City. He was also a member of the National Trial Team.  Derek currently coaches the National Moot Court Team.

Professionally, Derek is an Assistant Attorney General with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, representing the Maryland State Department of Education.  Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Derek was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera (now Chief Judge) of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Laura L. Dunn Laura L. Dunn is a nationally recognized victim-turned-victims’ rights attorney whose work has been featured by HBO Vice, National Law JournalRolling Stone Magazine, PEOPLE Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, and TIME Magazine, among many others.  As an outspoken survivor turned student-activist, Laura L. Dunn contributed to the 2011 Title IX Guidance, drafted and lobbied to pass the 2013 VAWA Reauthorization, advised the 2014 White House Task Force to Protect Students Against Sexual Assault, and served on the 2014 U.S. Department of Education’s VAWA Rulemaking Committee. She is now a victims’ rights attorney, published legal scholar, adjunct professor at Maryland Law, member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, liaison to two American Law Institute (ALI) projects. As the current Executive Director of SurvJustice, Dunn has represented survivors in campus hearings, severed as co-counsel in Title IX litigation, and provided expert consultation and witness services to lawsuits addressing campus sexual assault.

In 2014, Dunn received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law where she graduated Order of the Barristers for her superior talents in trial and appellate advocacy, as a Rose Zetzer Fellow for her studies in the Women Leadership & Equality program, and received the William P. Cunningham Award for her national work on campus sexual violence. While in law school, Dunn also interned at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, served as a judicial intern for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and founded the national not-for-profit organization, SurvJustice.

Saidah Grimes Saidah Grimes is a native of South Carolina who attended the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business graduating magna cum laude with her B.S. in Business Administration where she majored in International Business, Corporate Finance, Global Supply Chain and Operations Management and Marketing with a minor in Spanish.  Grimes subsequently graduated from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law cum laude, where she was the Technology Editor of the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and the Treasurer of the Moot Court Board.

Grimes is currently a practicing attorney with Murphy Falcon, & Murphy in Baltimore, Maryland, represents clients in complex commercial litigation matters. Grimes received the “2017 Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine and was named to the “Top 40 Under 40” Black attorneys in Maryland by the National Association of Black Lawyers.  For her dedicating over 1,000 hours to community service through youth advocacy, Grimes received a Proclamation from Prince George’s County, Maryland. Her passions include reforming the juvenile justice system and representing students with special needs.  For her community involvement, Grimes has won Miss Black Maryland USA and been featured by WHUR Radio, the D.C. Military, Lifetime, and many other organizations and networks.
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Matt Haven Matt Haven is a 2012 graduate of the law school and currently works in the litigation group at Gallagher Evelius & Jones in Baltimore.  He represents entities and individuals in complex commercial litigation and business disputes.  He also represents Gallagher’s real estate development clients on construction and property management issues.

Before joining the firm, Matt served a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Stephanie Gallagher of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.  He began his practice in the Baltimore office of a regional law firm. During law school, Matt was a member of the National Moot Court Team and was recognized as runner-up in the Myerowitz Moot Court Competition.  Matt participated in the 2011-2012 National Moot Court Competition, where his team was the runner-up regional winner and advanced to the finals in New York City.  He also served as Editor-In-Chief of the Maryland Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class. Matt has been selected a Maryland Super Lawyers "Rising Star" since 2016.

Holly Leasure Holly Leasure is a 2016 graduate of the law school and a former president of the Moot Court Board.  Currently, Holly is coaching the school’s team for the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition held at the Seton Hall University School of Law.  Holly was an outstanding competitor in the law school’s moot court competitions, winning Best Oral Advocate of the 2014 Fall Moot Court Competition and competing as a finalist of the 2015 Morris B. Myerowitz Moot Court Competition.  As a fourth year evening student, Holly competed in the 2016 National Constitutional Law Competition at Charleston School of Law, where her 2-member team won best brief, advanced to semi-finals and finished third place of 24 teams. In addition, Holly was recognized as third best oral advocate of the preliminary rounds.  In recognition of her outstanding advocacy skills, upon graduation, Holly was inducted to the Order of the Barristers.

Holly is a native Marylander who lives and works in the Baltimore area.  Professionally, Holly practices law in a private civil litigation firm in downtown Baltimore, representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice and personal injury matters. 

Linda MorrisLinda Morris is a 2017 graduate of the law school and former member of the National Moot Court Team.  Linda was a finalist and won the best brief award at the 2016 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition.  Linda was also named best oral advocate and won runner-up best brief at the 2015 Fall Moot Court Competition.  During law school, Linda participated in the Appellate Advocacy and Law Reform clinic with the Appellate Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, and presented oral argument before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.  Professionally, Linda serves as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Stephanie A. Gallagher of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  Linda is also a recipient of the 2018 Skadden Fellowship, and will complete her fellowship at the ACLU Women's Rights Project.

Rachel Simmonsen Rachel Simmonsen is a former newspaper reporter and a 2011 graduate of the law school. After being named best oral advocate in the 2010 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition, Rachel was selected to be a member of the National Moot Court Team. At the 2010-2011 National Moot Court Competition, Rachel was named best oral advocate for Region III, and her team received the award for best brief in the region. 

Professionally, Rachel is an Assistant Public Defender in the Appellate Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Prior to joining that office, Rachel clerked for the Honorable William D. Quarles, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and for the Honorable Andre M. Davis, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Admissions: PHONE: (410) 706-3492 FAX: (410) 706-1793

Copyright © 2018, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved