Chicago-Kent Advances to the National Finals of the 2019 Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Chicago-Kent team of Micah Fishman ’21 and Kevin LaBarge ’21 will advance to the national finals of the 2019 Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Kevin LaBarge ’21 (left) and Micah Fishman ’21 (second from left) will advance to the finals of the 2019 Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition. Their teammates Michelle Locascio ’21 (second from right) and Chris Tuinenga ’21 (right) performed well in the regional tournament but didn't advance.
Kevin LaBarge ’21 (left) and Micah Fishman ’21 (second from left) will advance to the finals of the 2019 Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition. Their teammates Michelle Locascio ’21 (second from right) and Chris Tuinenga ’21 (right) performed well in the regional tournament but didn't advance.

Fishman and LaBarge finished as semifinalists in the central regional tournament, held October 19 at the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul. At the tournament, they prevailed against teams from UIC John Marshall Law School and Loyola University Chicago School of Law before falling to a different team from Loyola. 

“Micah and Kevin, along with our other Thomas Tang team, threw themselves into this competition, practicing together essentially every day for two weeks. Their hard work paid off in impressive performances in the regional rounds,” says Cherish Keller, interim director of the Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy.

A second Chicago-Kent team of Chris Tuinenga ’21 and Michelle Locascio ’21 also represented Chicago-Kent with aplomb but did not advance despite their strong performance.

The national finals will be held November 8 and 9 at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention in Austin, Texas. 

This year, students are arguing a hypothetical case involving the prosecution of a U.S. citizen for knowingly harboring an undocumented immigrant. At issue is whether the defendant’s actions are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and whether some of the evidence introduced in his trial should have been suppressed because it violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. 

Fishman graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. degree in human development and family studies. LaBarge earned his B.A. degree in global studies from Providence College.  

Previous Thomas Tang competitor Noor Abdulmassih ’20 helped the teams prepare, with help from her former Thomas Tang teammate Gina Cesario ’20, Professor Katharine Baker, Keller, and Moot Court Honor Society members Alexander Atkins ’20, Alek Biser ’20, Eva Dickey ’20, and Alexander Hartz ’20. 

Sponsored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation, the competition is open to all students but is especially designed to provide Asian Pacific American law students with an opportunity to showcase their writing and oral advocacy skills.

The competition is named for the late Thomas Tang, a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Tang was a strong supporter of the bar association and its activities, including the creation of its moot court competition, which was renamed after his death in 1995.

 

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