Business Law Competition Teams 2020-21 Update

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The Transactional Law Team

In a law school climate that is very litigation heavy, the Transactional Law Team provides students with the opportunity to gain skills to become successful transactional lawyers. During the spring semester the Team met weekly to discuss various drafting skills and prepare for our competitions. As members of the Team, we were able to practice drafting earnout agreements, indemnification provisions, and representations and warranties among the many essential components of a stock purchase agreement. We were also introduced to various components of a term sheet and honed our negotiation skills that we would utilize during our competitions.

This year, the Transactional Law Team competed in three different competitions. Coached by Professor Hilary Hansen and Joe Ward ’03 from Miles & Stockbridge, for each competition we received a set of general facts that were shared with the opposing team as well as our own confidential facts. Team members drafted a document (either a stock purchase agreement or a term sheet) and sent it to the opposing team to mark-up. After receiving a draft and a mark-up document from the opposing teams we would then prepare for the negotiation.

On the day of the actual competition, we would negotiate the terms of the document. Scoring for competitions consisted of both a drafting and negotiation component.

The first competition the Team participated in was the UCLA Transactional Law Competition. This team consisted of Justin Meltzer, Katherine Roe, Joseph Fiocco, and Cristian Stroble.

The second competition was the Duke Transactional Law Competition where we sent two teams. The first team was made up of Alexander Batton and Randi Rubinstein, and the second team consisted of Kendall Kuntz and Katie Martin.

The final competition the Team participated in was the Wayne State Jaffe Transactional Law Invitational. This team was made up of Grace Olubowale, Alex Kim, and Nathan Arnold. As we progressed throughout our competition schedule, the Team was able to utilize what we learned from the previous competitions and apply that knowledge to become even better prepared for our future competitions.

The Team had many highlights this past year. This was the first year that the Team competed in competitions virtually and this was the first year that we competed in multiple competitions. One especially notable highlight was Alexander Batton and Randi Rubinstein receiving second place overall at the Duke Transactional Law Competition.

We all really enjoyed being a part of the Team as it provided us with the opportunity to simulate what a transactional lawyer does and we are excited to see the future success of the Transactional Law Team at Maryland Carey Law!

The Team would also like to thank the William J. and Helene K. Pittler Business Law Advocacy Fund for their ongoing support of the Transactional Law Team since 2011. Pittler is a 1959 graduate of Maryland Carey Law where he was a member of the Maryland Law Review. He is the long time CEO of the Friendly Finance Corporation. Pittler is an emeritus member of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Board of Visitors and has generously supported the law school with his philanthropy for over 40 years.

Maryland’s Duberstein Moot Court Team Off to Good Start

Bankruptcy gives petitioners, both individuals and companies, a fresh start. It represents the chance to cut loose the anchor of old debt and past mistakes so that forward motion can begin again. It lets people get back to business, and back to living.

Last year’s Bankruptcy Team got off the ground thanks to the efforts of Bob Hockenbury. In the Spring of 2020, Bob gathered a few interested students, including myself, and taught some of the basics of Bankruptcy law. In the Fall of 2020, the growing Bankruptcy Team decided to focus on St. John University’s Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. In preparation, each team member wrote a practice brief and began preparing oral arguments for the year’s Competition, which was to take place in the Spring of 2021. We were also lucky to have the benefit of help from our new coach: Judge Robert Gordon, retired U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge for the District of Maryland.

Our Team received a lucky break when, at the last minute, a team that had been scheduled to compete at the American College of Bankruptcy’s Fourth Circuit Moot Court Competition dropped out, leaving a spot open for our Duberstein Moot Court Team. We used the ACB Regional Competition as an opportunity for more team members to make oral arguments, and as practice for the Duberstein Competition since the ACB uses the same fact pattern and takes place a few weeks before the Duberstein Competition. Oral arguments—like classes, business meetings, and more than a few happy hours—took place on Zoom. Still, the Duberstein Moot Court Team made strong arguments before actual Bankruptcy Court Judges and the competition was fierce. In the end, we impressed judges with arguments on two actual questions of law, including one that has created a split in the federal circuit courts: whether, for an individual debtor filing a second bankruptcy within a one year period, Section 362(c)(3)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code (enacted as part of 2005’s Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act) results in automatic stay termination with respect to property of the estate 30 days after the bankruptcy filing.