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California Western Teams Excel in ABA and State Bar Competitions

Left to Right: Rachel Ferguson, Jennifer Monterroso, Jeremiah Ambabo and Grant Porter

California Western’s trial and competition teams have once again excelled in prestigious competitions.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) team of second-year students Amy A. Vaughan and Braden A. Drake finished first in the Cal Bar Environmental Negotiation Competition. The Appellate team of 2Ls Jeremiah G.Ambabo and Grant P. Porter finished second in the ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition regionals. The team of third-year students Jennifer N. Monterroso and Rachel M. Ferguson went to the semi-finals at that event.

“The Cal Bar Environmental Negotiation Competition is a prestigious annual competition, and we are very proud to have our ADR Team once again reach the podium,” said Adjunct Professor Dan Rawlins, one of three ADR team coaches, along with local attorneys Andres Michel and Adam Stone. “Vaughan and Drake excelled at this competition. They, along with second-year students Robert D. Prine and Sandip Randhawa went toe-to-toe with the best law schools in California and outperformed the competition.” 

This is the fourth time in six years a California Western team has made the finals at this competition, and this is first team to win it all.

The appellate competition program continues to distinguish itself as well.

“Our appellate program has made giant strides with the contributions of so many wonderful competitors and coaches, along with the leadership of Professor Roberta Thyfault and Adjunct Professor Kate Clark ’10,” said Distinguished Practitioner Mario Conte, faculty advisor to the Moot Court Honors Board.

"Braden and I loved competing in San Francisco as we were both childhood fans of ‘Full House’ and it was our first time in the area,” said Vaughan after she and Drake won the ADR competition. “We used our collaborative strategy to overcome our opponents and bring home a win for our coaches and California Western.

“This experience was intense but amazing,” said Ambabo of the appellate competition. “I had a wonderful teammate (Porter) to keep me sane and motivated over the last four months, and we had a great time working together. We had incredible support from our coaches and teammates, and the insight and guidance from Professors Barton, Klein, and Stiglitz was invaluable in helping us to get our arguments to an advanced level.”

The competition teams at California Western are an integral part of the school’s mission of preparing students to be profession ready. Participants say that the experience of presenting cases in front of actual judges in the courtroom gives them invaluable experience they carry with them in their careers.

California Western's Moot Court Honors Board is well-known nationally for the successes of its competition teams, but also for its consistency in developing individuals that stand out in the post-graduation applicant pool, and ultimately go on to become great attorneys.

California Western congratulates all of the participants in these competitions.