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Cooley Law School Students Participate in Moot Court Competition in New York City

Cooley Law School’s Moot Court team competed in the 32nd Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition in New York City March 2-4. The Cooley team included William Bowman, Nick Prowse, and Stephanie McKinney. They are coached by Cooley graduates Coaches Lauren Simasko and Brandon Ayers.

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Cooley Law Competition Team



Jointly sponsored by St. John’s Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition is one of the nation’s preeminent moot court competitions. It promotes and recognizes the finest oral and written advocacy on significant issues in bankruptcy practice.

Student teams representing law schools from across the country argue in at least two preliminary rounds on alternating sides. Bankruptcy practitioners judge the preliminary rounds and briefs, and leading appellate and bankruptcy judges preside in the advanced rounds.

The legal situation posed to the competitors for this competition included whether post-petition, pre-conversion increase in equity in a debtor’s property inures to the benefit of the debtor or to the bankruptcy estate upon conversion of a case from chapter 13 to chapter 7; and whether Chapter 7 trustee may sell, as property of the bankruptcy estate, the ability to avoid and recover transfers.  

Bowman and Prowse, both second-term law students, competed as petitioner’s counsel in the first and third round. The two flourished and the judges recognized the pair with positive feedback noting their “ability to maintain a dialogue, high-level understanding of the issues, and impactful use of case law.”

In the second round, Bowman and McKinney competed as respondent’s counsel. Coach Simasko said, “they both had some of their strongest moments of the whole process. McKinney approached the argument with a no-nonsense demeanor that radiated throughout the round.”  

Though the team did not advance to the final round, Simasko said, “It was incredible to see so much growth amongst the team, both in skills and confidence. They approached the NYC rounds eager to show off their skills and each performed at the highest level we have seen so far. Ayers and I are so proud to have been their coaches and know they have bright legal futures ahead.” 

Photo Courtesy Kara Marie Photography: Pictured (left to right) William Bowman, Stephanie McKinney, Coach Lauren Simasko, Professor Martha Moore, Coach Brandon Ayers, and Nick Prowse.

Mar 12 2024