Caroline Page, Robert Pendley, and Margaret Reiney, all 3Ls, won the 26th Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. The Duberstein Competition is the preeminent national bankruptcy moot court competition and one of the largest single-site appellate moot court competitions in the country. Teams from forty seven schools competed in this year’s event at St. John’s University School of Law.
Page, Pendley, and Reiney demonstrated resolve and determination from the beginning of the competition weekend, when their flights to New York were cancelled Friday due to weather conditions in the northeast. The students rented a car and began a road trip to Washington, D.C., to catch a train to New York. When the trains were cancelled, the students soldiered on by driving to Manhattan, arriving at 3 a.m. on Saturday, the morning of the first preliminary round.
The team made it through the preliminary rounds against teams from Emory University and Wayne State, proceeding to the octo-finals on Sunday afternoon. In the octo-finals, our team faced Suffolk University and UNLV, outscoring their opponents in each round to advance to the quarter finals.
The quarter finals were held on Monday in Brooklyn at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. Alabama Law’s team defeated the University of Texas in this head-to-head elimination round.
The semi-final round pitted UA against perennial contender SMU, whose team placed third and had Best Advocate in 2017 and won back-to-back national titles in 2015 and 2016. During this round, Page and Reiney turned in virtually flawless performances against SMU and earned the team an advance to the finals.
In the finals, the team competed against George Washington University and faced an active bench comprised of a Circuit Court Judge and three prominent Bankruptcy Judges. During this round, Page and Pendley demonstrated remarkable acumen in parrying the barrage of questions from the bench, winning the championship round against a team.
The team’s performance would not have been possible without the contributions of Faculty Advisor and Professor Gary Sullivan (’96), Coach Mark Williams, (’84) Team Coordinator Kathryn Trent, 2L, and Bankruptcy Judge Jennifer Henderson (’04).