W&M Trio to Compete for Moot Court National Title

For the first time in 17 years, a team from William & Mary will compete in New York for the Moot Court National Title. Team members Brandon Harter '09, Johnny O'Kane '09, and Arpan Sura '09 were the regional runners-up at the New York Bar Association's National Moot Court Tournament in Richmond on Nov. 7-8.  By reaching the final round, the team earned the right to represent William & Mary at the National Finals in New York in February.

Johnny O'Kane, who also serves as Chief Justice of the Moot Court team, was awarded the Silver Cup, presented to the Best Oral Advocate in the final round. "This just goes to show how strong our law school really is," said O'Kane, who also won the 2008 Tulane University Mardi Gras Invitational Moot Court Tournament with Lawrence Perrone '08. Perrone now practices law in Washington, D.C., at Wilson Sonsini. O'Kane added that "our Moot Court team has really become a national power - and every year the talent level increases dramatically."

The tournament was hosted at the Lewis F. Powell, Jr., U.S. Courthouse, with the final round being held in the en banc courtroom of the Fourth Circuit. Despite posting the better oral argument score in the final round, the team narrowly finished second by a .93 margin. Region 4 encompasses all law schools in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia.

After defeating the University of Virginia and West Virginia University in the qualifying rounds, the team again beat West Virginia in the quarterfinals and then George Mason University in the semifinal round.

A second William & Mary team comprising Clifford Allen '09, Alexander Brodsky '09, and Neal Hoffman '09 finished 1-1 in the initial rounds and did not advance to the quarterfinals.

Harter won the Bushrod T. Washington Moot Court competition in 2007, and will be clerking in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania after graduation in May. O'Kane serves as a Notes Editor of the William and Mary Law Review and, after graduation in May, will join the Los Angeles office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Sura, who also graduates in May,  is the Lead Articles Editor of the William and Mary Law Review. He was named the Best Oral Advocate at the Regent University Moot Court competition last year, and will join the Washington, D.C., office of Arnold & Porter.