Moot Court Board Practitioner Coaches

Marc DeSimoneMarc DeSimone is 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.

Ryan Dietrich is a 2004 graduate of the law school and has coached teams for the Moot Court Board since 2009. Ryan currently coaches the school’s team for the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition held at Vanderbilt University (the same competition in which Ryan was a quarterfinalist as a Moot Court Board member during his 3L year). Ryan was also a semifinalist in the 2003 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition.  In recognition of his outstanding advocacy skills, Ryan was inducted into the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers at graduation.

Professionally, Ryan is an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. In that role, he has handled several hundred appeals, including over 50 oral arguments before Maryland’s appellate courts. Ryan also teaches written and oral advocacy as an adjunct professor at the law school. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ryan was an associate at Neuberger, Quinn, Gielen, Rubin & Gibber, P.A. in Baltimore and was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Glenn T. Harrell, Jr., of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Suzy Prucka Suzy Prucka is a 2006 graduate of the law school and has coached teams for the Moot Court Board since 2010.  Suzy has been involved as a coach in a variety of competitions, including the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, the National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the National Criminal Procedure Tournament in San Diego.  During law school, as a member of the Moot Court Board, Suzy competed with Michael Heyse in the J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Memorial Competition held at the University of North Carolina School of Law.  She was also a semifinalist in the 2005 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition.

Professionally, Suzy is an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. In that role, she has handled several hundred appeals, including over 50 oral arguments before Maryland’s appellate courts. Suzy also teaches in the government and politics department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Suzy clerked for the Honorable Clayton Greene, Jr. of the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Honorable Patrick L. Woodward of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Suzy lives in Baltimore City.

Daniel Kobrin is a 2011 graduate of the law school and a former president of the Moot Court Board.  Dan has been a coach for the Moot Court Board since 2012. During his 3L year, Dan competed in the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition held at Seton Hall University School of Law. The team finished third and Dan was named runner-up best oral advocate in the preliminary rounds of the competition.

Professionally, Dan is an Assistant Public Defender in the Appellate Division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Dan also teaches written and oral advocacy as an adjunct professor at the law school. Prior to joining the Office of the Public Defender, he clerked for the Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera (now Chief Judge) of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Dan lives in Baltimore City.

George Zokle George Zokle is a 2010 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law and has coached teams for the Moot Court Board since 2011.  While in law school, George was a member of Case Western’s National Moot Court Team.  At the 2009-2010 National Moot Court Competition, his team was the mid-west regional winner and finished 11th at the finals in New York City.  George was also recognized academically as a gifted advocate, receiving the top grade in the law school’s appellate practice course and being named a teaching assistant for the course the following year. Professionally, George has been in private practice since his graduation. He lives in Montgomery County.

Michael_HeyseMichael Heyse is a 2006 honors graduate of the law school. While in law school, Mike was a member of the Moot Court Board and competed with Suzy Prucka in the J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Memorial Competition held at the University of North Carolina School of Law. 

Professionally, Mike is an attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice.  In his several years with DOJ, Michael has delivered over 35 oral arguments in federal circuit courts across the country and has submitted more than 150 briefs. Prior to joining DOJ, Michael clerked for the Honorable Stuart R. Berger, who was then a judge on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (now a judge on the Court of Special Appeals). Before entering law school, Michael spent three years with Morgan Lewis as an Antitrust Specialist paralegal.  A native Marylander, Michael lives in Baltimore City, with his wife Erica, and daughter Mia.

Diana Kugel Diana Kugel is a 2012 graduate of the law school and a former president of the Moot Court Board.  During her 3L year, Diana competed in the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition held at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where her team advanced to the quarter-final round. She was also an outstanding competitor in the law school’s internal moot court competitions, winning the best brief award for the 2010 Fall Competition and placing as a semi-finalist in the 2011 Morris Brown Myerowitz Moot Court Competition. Diana currently practices in a civil defense litigation law firm in Baltimore County.

Derek Simmonsen Derek Simmonsen 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.

Professionally, Derek is an Assistant Attorney General in the Education Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.  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.

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

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved