University of New Hampshire

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School of Law
UNH Law Announces New Attorney Mooting Program

UNH Law Announces New Attorney Mooting Program

Program Gives Students in Audience Valuable Appellate Experience

The University of New Hampshire School of Law has created a program designed to assist attorneys in the state who are preparing for appellate oral argument.  

Utilizing the expertise of UNH Law faculty, New Hampshire lawyers, and retired judges, the UNH Law Attorney Mooting Program will moot lawyers who have upcoming arguments before the New Hampshire Supreme Court or the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

The program launched this spring by mooting New Hampshire attorney Brian Shaughnessy, who was preparing to argue his case, Dan’s City Used Cars v. Pelkey, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Shaughnessy, whose daughter, Kimberly Shaughnessy, is a second-year student at UNH Law, benefited from the assistance of Charles Bauer of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, Professor John Greabe of UNH Law, Steven Gordon of Shaheen & Gordon, Benjamin Siracusa Hillman of Shaheen & Gordon, and James Kazan of Kazan, Shaughnessy, Kasten & McDonald.

 “I was thrilled when UNH Law School agreed to assist me prepare for my oral argument before the US Supreme Court by hosting a moot court session at the law school,” Shaughnessy said. “The moot court process is essential to the intense preparations that are demanded when you are preparing to be cross-examined by some of the smartest people in the country. The entire first-year law school class attended the moot court, which provided an electric atmosphere and helped me immensely in preparing to tune out the world and sharpen my focus on surviving the argument.”

The moots are offered to attorneys seeking to hone their appellate skills in a courtroom setting in front of seasoned attorneys acting as appellate justices. Justices will be provided with the briefs prior to the scheduled moot, in order that they may familiarize themselves with the pending case. The sessions will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis for the counsel of record in cases in which the courts have granted certiorari. UNH Law offers the moots as a public service, at no charge.     

 “The mooting experience is beneficial for practitioners and students alike,” said the program’s director, UNH Law Professor Jessica Durkis-Stokes. “The students gain enormous insight into the appellate process from attending the moots, which in turn makes them uniquely situated to address appellate issues upon entering the field of practice. Practitioners benefit from student involvement by mooting in a simulated live courtroom atmosphere.”  

To schedule a moot or serve as a justice in the program, please contact director Jessica Durkis-Stokes, associate professor of Legal Skills, at (603) 513-5120 or jessica.durkis-stokes@law.unh.edu.

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