Briefing Room


Student declared National Best Advocate

May 2, 2013 | Students

Nikki Trautman Baszynski was declared National Best Advocate at the 36th Annual American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition held April 4-6 in Chicago.

Baszynksi is a member of the Class of 2013 at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and hails from Niles, Ohio. This is a “truly spectacular accomplishment,” said coach Christopher Fairman, the Alumni Society Designated Professor of Law.

“I could not be prouder of the way our students represented Moritz throughout the competition,” Fairman said, adding that Baszynski’s award was one of many pieces of hardware the College’s moot court teams brought back to Columbus.

This year’s ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition included a field of 226 teams representing 129 ABA-accredited law schools. They participated at five regional competitions, with only 27 teams advancing to the national finals in Chicago.

Only four law schools in the country had the distinction of qualifying two teams, and Moritz was part of that elite group. Its ABA Grey team consisted of 3Ls Caitlin Murphy, Kristine Murphy, and Jason Grenell. The ABA Scarlet team consisted of 3Ls Baszynski, Christina Karam, and Ashley Johns.

The Grey team did not advance beyond the preliminary rounds, while the Scarlet team advanced to the sweet sixteen, where it beat the University of Southern California. The team then took on Alabama in the quarterfinals in what Fairman described as “the best moot court argument I have ever seen.” With a seven-judge panel, the questions were nonstop. The team won 6-1, advancing to the final four. The team’s run ended in the semifinals on a split decision. South Texas, a team that Moritz had defeated at the Boston regional competition, advanced to the finals in the end.

At the awards ceremony, members of both teams were honored as regional champions and received individual plaques and team trophies. Baszynski, Karam, and Johns received plaques recognizing their achievement of being national semifinalists.

Special recognition and awards also were given to the Scarlet team for Fourth Place Best Brief; to Baszynski for Eight-Best Advocate from the Boston regional and Second Place Best Advocate from the national preliminary rounds; and to Johns as 10th Place National Best Advocate.

– Monica DeMeglio