Led by senior political science majors Yasmin Manners and Ryan Chapman, the Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) moot court program recently concluded a successful 2012-13 season.
With 26 career wins as a tandem, Manners and Chapman set the mark for the most lifetime wins for any CSULB team as well as each recording the most wins for any CSULB individual mooter.
This year’s 13-member moot court team had seven new members and six with previous experience, including Chapman and Manners, who as a team finished second in written advocacy and 11th in oral advocacy at the 2013 American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) national tournament earlier this year at the Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Va.
During the 2012-13 season Chapman won three orator awards, including a ninth-place finish at the ACMA national tournament. In addition, Chapman and Manners finished third in the South Texas College of Law Tournament and sixth in the Western Regional Championship.
“I think Ryan and I worked well together because we balance each other out,” said Manners. “Basically, we’re similar enough to work well together and make sense as a team, but different enough to balance each other out and reach a broader variety of judges that way.
“As far as our record, it’s definitely rewarding to see that our work paid off. It’s such a team effort in the broader sense though that it speaks more to the quality of our moot court program as a whole,” she added. “Dr. Ringel is such an amazing professor and has given us so much. He dedicates so much of his time to the program and his students, and at least for myself, I know I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without him.”
Assuming that Chapman and Manners have argued together as a team for the last time they will be remembered both for their many successes and for being great leaders and role models for new mooters, according to Lewis Ringel, a CSULB lecturer in political science who finished his seventh year serving as director of the program.
“I leaned on them a great deal when it came to dealing with certain matters within the larger team and they came through. They were unselfish in their ability to assist their classmates and win or lose they always did so with class and without excuses, thus setting a great example for their teammates,” he said. “They are simply the best team that I have coached.
“They are the second best team in the nation in the written brief and that probably impresses lawyers more than any other qualification that Chapman and Manners bring to the table,” added Ringel. “Not many folks can say they were second in the nation in anything. That is a nice sendoff for a truly great team, CSULB hall of famers if such a thing existed.”
The team of senior psychology major Adria Bonillas and senior political science major Krist Biakanja won the 2012 Western Regional Championship hosted by CSULB, the second CSULB team to do so and the first in 11 years. CSULB had four teams in the final eight at the regionals, with first, fifth, sixth and seventh place finishes.
Individually, senior political science major Kyle Maury, junior political science major Ashley Hall, senior political science major Brianna Wilbur, junior political science major Ruben Frausto and junior philosophy major Asmita Deswal won best orator awards at the SMU Law Tournament with Wilbur finishing as runner-up. Chapman, Hall, Wilbur and Bonillas each earned best orator awards at the Western Regional Championship.
As teams, junior political science Davis Casarrubias and Deswal were runners-up at the SMU Law Tournament, and the teams of Maury-Hall and Wilbur-Frausto advanced to the semi-finals at the same tournament. The team of Maury-Hall finished fifth in the Western Regional Championship.
“I would call 2012-13 a great success,” Ringel said. “Our goal was to win, have fun and learn, and we did a lot of all three. We finished second in the written brief, won a regional, reached the national sweet 16 for the third straight season, won a brief award, also for the third straight season, and reached the semi-finals in three of four tournaments.
“We will enter 2013-14 with a very deep and experienced team,” he pointed out. “Every returning mooter has at a minimum reached the semi-finals of a tournament and for the first time in my tenure we will be the defending champs of the Western Regional.”