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University of Texas Takes Top Honors at Duberstein Moot Court Competition

March 15, 2012 Alexandria, Va. — Students from the University of Texas School of Law prevailed over 53 other student teams to win first place at the 20th Annual Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held March 10-12 in New York. The competition is co-sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law. Stetson University College of Law, which fielded two teams this year, had one team place second and the other tied for third in the competition. The University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law also tied for third place in the competition and won the award for Best Brief. Hunter Oliver, a student from the Baylor University School of Law, earned 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, 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. Nearly 200 lawyers and judges donated time and expertise to help judge the event. This year’s problem raised two timely unresolved issues of bankruptcy law: (1) whether an innocent trade vendor who supplies post-petition to the debtor on a C.O.D. basis must return the payments under § 549 if the debtor’s use of funds to pay the vendor exceeds the scope of the cash collateral order; and (2) whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall deprives the bankruptcy court of the power to hear and determine the § 549 action. 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. Nearly 1,000 members of the New York-area insolvency community attended the final night awards dinner at Pier 60 on the Manhattan waterfront. Recently retired Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez (S.D.N.Y.) was honored at the dinner. For more information on ABI's Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, please go to http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/graduate/law/academics/llm/duberstein.