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National Champions!

CAP National Champions

California Western School of Law’s Negotiation team has beaten top law schools across the country to win the ABA National Negotiation Competition held on February 6, 2021.

The California Western team of third-year students Francis Carlota and Jonathan Gonzalez competed against 20 law schools that had advanced to the national finals from the regional competitions held last year in which 168 teams across 82 law schools competed.

Cal Western beat Georgetown and Stetson on the first day of the competition and advanced to the quarter-final round as the No. 1 seed.

Carlota and Gonzalez swept through the quarter-finals and went on to beat Chapman in the semis. At the end of a hard-fought and challenging final round against Mitchell Hamline, California Western School of Law was announced the Champion of the ABA National Negotiation Competition.

“Francis Carlota and Jonathan Gonzalez have consistently shown exceptional teamwork, determination, and a passion for negotiating,” said Paul Parisi, California Western’s Competitive Advocacy Program Director. “They are both the true definition of ADR competitor veterans.”

The team was coached by California Western alumnus Juan Larios ‘17 and long-time coach Dan Rawlins.

In other notable successes for California Western’s Competitive Advocacy Program (CAP), the Appellate team of 2Ls Madison Swoy and Mary Powell advanced to the final four in the 2021 National Online Moot Court Challenge. Their semi-final round was extremely close, and they missed going to the final round by just one point.

The competition comprised 40 teams from law schools across the country. Swoy and Powell dominated from the start and were ranked No.1 in their grouping after the preliminary rounds—defeating all other schools in their group. They advanced past the octo-finals and quarter-finals, where they received a unanimous decision in their favor for both rounds by all six judges.

In addition, Swoy received an Outstanding Oral Advocate award, meaning she was deemed one of the top 10 students of the 80 who competed. The Appellate team was coached by Cal Western alumni Eli Gaglio ‘18 and Arlena Parmar ‘20.

Coming up, California Western’s Jessup team is getting ready to compete in their prestigious international competition, while the Trial teams are preparing to compete in the National TYLA and AAJ competitions.

Highlights from 2020 include:

  • 1st Place – San Diego ABTL Competition (Trial)
    Student advocates: Alec Rogers, Colby Joseph, Swapna Vettiyil, and Krista Walker
  • 1st Place and Best Brief – UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition (Appellate)
    Student advocates: Arlena Parmar and Caitlin Van Voorst
  • Best Brief and Final Four Team – Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition (Appellate)
    Student advocates: Danica Hernandez and Nathan Chisolm
  • Regional Winner – ABA Mediation Competition (ADR)
    Student advocates: Francis Carlota and Cinthya Rivera
  • Regional Winner – ABA Negotiation Competition (ADR)
    Student advocates: Francis Carlota and Jonathan Gonzalez
  • “The Cal Western Competitive Advocacy Program had incredible success last year even in the face of the pandemic,” said Parisi. “With the recent successes of the Negotiation and Appellate teams 2021 has had a tremendous start, and I look forward to more good news as the year progresses.”

    “These competitions are being held over Zoom, and the students and coaches have done a tremendous job of adapting to this new world of advocacy,” added Parisi. “Every win, especially on the national stage, makes other law schools more and more aware that California Western is a force to be reckoned with, and I am incredibly proud of our advocacy students.”

    For more information on California Western's Competitive Advocacy Program, click here.