University of Houston Takes Top Honors at Duberstein Competition

University of Houston Takes Top Honors at Duberstein Competition

Contact: John Hartgen
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March 9, 2011 Alexandria, Va. — Students from the University of Houston Law Center prevailed over 46 other student teams to win first place at the 19th Annual Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held March 5-7 in New York. The competition is co-sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law. Baylor University School of Law came in second place in the competition, with law schools from the University of Illinois and University of Memphis finishing in third and fourth place, respectively. Nicole Hay, a student from SMU Dedman School of Law, earned Best Advocate, while the team from the University of San Diego School of Law won the award for Best Brief.

The Duberstein Competition, named for the late Judge Conrad B. Duberstein, a St. Johns alumnus and former ABI Director, has grown into the largest appellate moot court competition in the nation. ABI’s Endowment Fund provided $13,000 in cash prizes for the winners. The competition consists of eight rounds of oral arguments, and the final rounds are held at the Duberstein Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y. Many of the teams are coached by ABI practitioners or academic members. More than 100 practitioners donated many hours serving as early-round judges or graders of written briefs. This year’s problem, created by the staff of the ABI Law Review, raised two hot topics involving the chapter 11 cramdown rules: whether the 2005 Bankruptcy Code amendments replaced the absolute priority rule with the disposable-income requirement in individual chapter 11 cases, and whether the indubitable-equivalence standard authorizes the cramdown of a plan that sells a secured creditor’s collateral without giving it credit-bidding rights. 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.
More than 900 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 nearly 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