Wayne Law wins Jessup international law Midwest regional


Wayne State University Law School students (left to right) Emad Hamadeh, Layla Zarkesh, Aaron Shuman, Nicole Pitchford, and Adam Winnie pose for a photo after winning the U.S. Midwest Regional of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Chicago.

– Photo courtesy of Wayne Law

For the fourth consecutive year and fifth time in the past six years, Wayne State University Law School’s team won the U.S. Midwest Regional of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Wayne Law’s team topped the field of 19 law schools at the competition Thursday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 11, at Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. The team also took home the award for Third Best Memorial.

Team members are third-year students Nicole Pitchford of Royal Oak, Aaron Shuman of Royal Oak, and Adam Winnie of Taylor; and second-year students Emad Hamadeh of Dearborn and Layla Zarkesh of Detroit. Professor Gregory H. Fox, director of Wayne Law’s Program for International Legal Studies, is the team’s faculty advisor.

Wayne Law swept the top three oralist awards at the competition with Hamadeh placing third, Winnie placing second and Pitchford placing first.

The team will advance to the White & Case International Rounds of the Jessup competition April 1 through April 7 in Washington, D.C. Wayne Law will compete against schools from across the globe in hopes of taking home the top prize. The international rounds are both an educational experience and cultural extravaganza. The weeklong schedule of events is filled with competitive matches, panel discussions and social events.

In its 59th year, the Jessup competition is the world’s largest moot court competition with participants from more than 645 law schools representing 95 countries.

At the regional competition, the Wayne Law team won all four rounds in the preliminary oral arguments, defeating John Marshall Law School, Indiana University Bloomington, Case Western Reserve University and University of Iowa.

The team advanced to the quarterfinals, where they defeated Ohio State University. In the semifinals, Wayne Law defeated Michigan State University, and in the final round they overcame Case Western Reserve University to take home the regional championship.

For the Jessup competition, the International Law Students Association creates and releases a special agreement each fall that outlines the issues and facts behind a complex, hypothetical international legal dispute before the International Court of Justice (World Court). Wayne Law Jessup members research, write and submit memorials and prepare for the regional competition by participating in various moot arguments in front of faculty and practicing attorneys around the metro Detroit area.

This year’s Jessup problem concerns the validity of interstate arbitral awards, the capture of a marine vessel, the breach of nuclear disarmament obligations and the conduct of naval warfare.