Chicago-Kent Team Finishes Second in Regionals, Advances to National Moot Court Competition

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Chicago-Kent team of Hayden Dinges ’21 and Daniel Kfoury ’21 is advancing to the 2021 National Moot Court Competition following a second-place finish in the regional rounds.

Dinges and Kfoury beat teams from the University of Illinois College of Law, UIC John Marshall Law School, and the University of Wisconsin Law School. In addition, they finished the competition with the second-best brief overall. In the semifinal round, they faced a second Chicago-Kent team that included Adrienne Finucane ’21, Kristen Merritt ’21, and Cait Sinclair ’21. Dinges and Kfoury won by a slim margin to go on to the finals, where they fell to Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Hayden Dinges
Hayden Dinges '21

Dinges and Kfoury say it was an honor to face fellow Moot Court Honor Society members in the semifinals and a highlight of their time in law school. Both teams practiced together leading up to the competition, and Dinges says they have learned so much from each other about what it takes to be a good oral advocate.

“These competitions can often feel very formal and detached, and it was a unique experience getting the chance to compete against some of my closest friends in law school as opposed to strangers from another school. The other team could have very well won the entire competition, so big kudos to them,” Dinges says. “We were the only school to send two teams to the semis [in our region], and they actually won the argument. But our brief score put us over the edge, which speaks to how great they were and how close that round was.”

Daniel Kfoury
Daniel Kfoury '21

The case the teams argued addressed whether a health insurance company can bring a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) civil claim against a pharmaceutical company for fraudulent statements regarding a drug’s effectiveness as a treatment for a novel disease, and whether a board of health officials’ member violated the Fourth Amendment when she subpoenaed patient records from that health insurance company.

In terms of advancing to the national competition, Dinges says they are just getting started.

“We have far more work to do for us to consider this whole endeavor a success, and that starts with advancing past the preliminary rounds at nationals this February amidst tougher competition from some of the best advocates in the nation,” he says. “We don’t spend the time and energy to compete in these moot court competitions to come in second place; we compete to win, and the fact that we fell short of that goal in regionals will motivate us to do better in nationals in a few weeks. The goal is not just to advance past the early rounds of the competition—it’s to win it all.”

Dinges earned a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and English from Vassar College. Kfoury graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and global logistics and transportation from the College of Charleston.

“Our nationals team members were all incredibly dedicated and consistently strove to polish both the substance and style of their oral arguments,” says Cherish Keller, director of the Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy. “Their commitment and passion are admirable—and certainly helped them be so successful!”

The 71st Annual National Moot Court Competition is sponsored by the New York City Bar Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers. The regional competitions took place November 20–22, 2020, and the final rounds will be held February 1–4, 2021.

Established in 1992, the Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy provides training for students in Chicago-Kent’s Moot Court Honor Society. Students in the program complete intensive coursework in appellate litigation, compete in the Ilana Diamond Rovner Competition, and then go on represent the law school in appellate advocacy tournaments throughout the United States.