Whittier Team Advances in Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition

Whittier Law School students Barrett Alexander and Melissa Chichportich

In March, Whittier Law students Melissa Chichportich and Barrett Alexander participated in the prestigious John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court competition at Seton Hall in Newark, New Jersey. The team advanced to the octofinal round, which means that they were ranked in the top 16 of the 42 teams participating. The problem this year was based on complex issues of Fourth Amendment law, one of which was recently addressed by the United States Supreme Court.

According to the team’s coach, Professor Leary, “The competition judges praised Melissa and Barrett for qualities that are exactly what we hope our students possess and that we strive to develop in Moot Court – intelligence, focus, ability to understand and respond to questions, having a coherent and articulate theme, tenacity, confidence, respectful demeanor, and dedication to an arduous task.” The team was also assisted by student liaison Hanna Chandoo.

Barrett Alexander, Professor Patricia Leary and Melissa Chichportich at the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court competition at Seton Hall in Newark, New Jersey

Team member Melissa Chichportich said about the experience, “Our success is a direct result of Professor Leary and the Moot Court membership’s collaboration, intelligence, and dedication. Our problem was released shortly before Spring Break, so many of our practices were scheduled during Spring Break. The fact that our members sacrificed their time off to coach, support, and encourage our team really showcases our membership’s dedication.”

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