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SMU Dedman School of Law Takes Top Honors at Duberstein Moot Court Competition

Alexandria, Va. — Students from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law prevailed over a record 60 other student teams to win first place at the 21st Annual Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held March 9-11 in New York. The competition is co-sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law. Florida Coastal School of Law took second place in the competition, while the University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law and a team from Stetson University College of Law shared the honors for third place. A team from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law also won the award for the Best Brief of the competition, and Nicholas Andrews of the Mississippi College School of Law took the honor of Best Advocate. The Duberstein Competition, named for the late Judge Conrad B. Duberstein, a St. John’s alumnus and former ABI director, has grown into the largest appellate moot court competition in the nation. ABI’s Endowment Fund provided $12,000 in cash prizes for the winners. The competition consists of eight rounds of oral arguments, with the final rounds held at the Duberstein Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y. Many of the teams are coached by ABI practitioners or academic members. Nearly 200 lawyers and judges donated their time and expertise to help judge the event. Judges for the final round included: - Hon. Edith Hollan Jones (5th Cir.) - Hon. Diarmuid O'Scannlain (9th Cir.) - Hon. Steven Colloton (8th Cir.) - Hon. Laura Taylor Swain (District Court, S.D.N.Y.) - Chief Bankruptcy Judges Cecelia Morris (S.D.N.Y.) and Carla Craig (E.D.N.Y.) The competition is directed by Prof. G. Ray Warner, Associate Dean for Bankruptcy Studies at St. John’s and a member of ABI’s Board of Directors. This year’s problem raised two timely unresolved issues of bankruptcy law: (1) whether a voluntary petition in bankruptcy may be filed by a corporation notwithstanding a provision in its governing corporate documents that prohibits the filing of a petition in bankruptcy; and (2) whether the automatic stay applies to an action seeking to enjoin allegedly unlawful post-petition operation of the debtor’s business. Nearly 1,000 members of the New York-area insolvency community attended the final night awards dinner at Pier 60 on the Manhattan waterfront. For more information on ABI's Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, please go to ### ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit