By the Bay
National Moot Court Victory!
RWU Law’s team sweeps the regionals to reach
national final four
After topping the regionals in the National Moot Court
Competition, RWU Law went on to place high in the finals of the
nation’s largest and most prestigious appellate competition.
To make it happen, the Roger Williams team – consisting of 3Ls
Juliana McKittrick, Nick Nybo and Will Wray – had to overcome
tough regional competition from Northeastern, Boston University,
Suffolk and Syracuse. The team took “Best Brief ” honors, while
Nybo also won “Best Oralist” recognition for a Fourth Amendment
argument on whether a warrant was needed to search a cell phone
seized incident to an arrest.
Nearly 200 teams from 131 schools competed in the regionals,
and – after sweeping the New England field – the RWU team
pitted their skills against the 29 best teams in the country during
the final round of competitions in New York City this January.
Professors Diana Hassel and Larry Ritchie coached.
Facing a case riddled with complex First and Fourth
Amendment issues, McKittrick took the lead on briefing, while
Nybo and Wray served as oralists. Roger Williams defeated
number-one seed Utah to make it into the final four.
Competing against Case Western, the University of Georgia,
and Stetson (which eventually won the competition), RWU placed
fourth – still an exhilarating outcome and “an experience I will
never forget,” Nybo said.
“Our professors, deans, classmates and support staff prepared us
with endless practice rounds and advice,” added Wray. “We never
faced a tougher judge panel than the one at school – comprised
of Nick’s Con Law professor, my seminar professor and our 1L
legal writing professor. It goes without saying that, without RWU’s
support and training, we wouldn’t have been there. Next year, on
to the finals!”
Fond Farewell to a
William J. Coffey, a longtime adjunct professor at RWU
Law who also served a stint as interim director of the school’s
Marine Affairs Institute, died in November at the age of 71.
A veteran maritime transportation advisor, he was
remembered for his professional depth of experience and
his warm, friendly style of teaching.
“Professor Coffey was one of my favorites,” said Ben
Susman ’09, now an attorney in San Diego. “He had a
practical approach, teaching by sharing real-life examples
and issues from his experience in the maritime commercial
sector. He always made time to meet with his students, and
he helped me network in the industry.”
Also remembering Coffey as a favorite, Pawtucket
attorney Michael Mineau ’09 noted “his kind demeanor,
passion for mentoring, and sense of humor. He cared so
much about his students and continued to be a mentor to
me long after graduation.”
A Navy vet who attained the rank of lieutenant
and served in Vietnam, Coffey was president of Beaufort
Maritime Group LLC, a Newport consulting firm, and a
former president of R. K. Johns & Associates, Inc., a New
York City-based consulting firm. Earlier he served as secretary
and counsel to Sea-Land Service, Inc., an international
container-ship line; logged years of maritime regulatory,
public affairs and legislative experience in Washington, D.C.;
and taught as an adjunct associate professor of ports and
shipping at the University of Rhode Island.
An Ocean State native, he was a staunch advocate of
marriage equality in the state and across the country, in spirit,
active engagement and financial support.