November 23, 2011
Students in the Rovner Competition each prepare a brief in a case that raises an important issue of national concern, as well as oral arguments supporting both sides of that issue. Students present those arguments before panels consisting of IIT Chicago-Kent faculty, practicing attorneys and experienced moot court students. The top-scoring students advance through a series of elimination rounds.
This year, students argued Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, one of several cases in the federal courts challenging the constitutionality of various provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Thomas More Law Center v. Obama isolates the most contentious constitutional issue: whether Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause by requiring citizens to maintain minimum essential healthcare coverage or pay a penalty. On November 14, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments in the case in March of 2012. A ruling by the justices is anticipated before the 2012 elections.
In the final round, Emily Chase-Sosnoff argued against second-year student Irena Kin. As the winner of the final round of competition, Chase-Sosnoff received the Ilana Diamond Rovner Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocate and a $500 scholarship. Runner-up Kin received a $250 scholarship from the Edmund G. Burke Scholarship Fund.
Rovner Competition winner Emily Chase-Sosnoff is a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. She is an honors graduate of the University of Chicago, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in environmental studies. While in undergraduate school, Chase-Sosnoff studied Mandarin Chinese and taught English in Beijing.
Irena Kin graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University with a bachelor of arts degree in international studies and a minor in Mandarin Chinese. This past summer, she worked on corporate commercial law matters at Jincheng, Tongda & Neal in Shanghai.
Second-year student Prava Palacharla received the Fay Clayton Award for Outstanding Oralist and a $250 scholarship. Clayton, who graduated with honors from Chicago-Kent in 1978, is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Robinson, Curley and Clayton, P.C. Her legal experience includes numerous trials, appeals, mediations, and arbitrations in tribunals including the United States Supreme Court. Caroline Teichner, a third-year student, received the Ralph L. Brill Award for Best Brief and a $250 scholarship. Professor Ralph Brill, a member of the faculty since 1961, founded the law school’s groundbreaking legal research and writing program and its award-winning moot court program.
The final round of the competition was judged by a distinguished panel that included the Honorable Ilana Diamond Rovner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the Honorables Richard D. Cudahy and Ann Claire Williams, also judges of the United States Court for the Seventh Circuit.
Established in 1992, the Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy provides training for students in IIT Chicago-Kent’s Moot Court Honor Society. Students in the program complete intensive course work in appellate litigation, represent the law school in appellate advocacy tournaments throughout the United States, and are eligible to participate in the Ilana Diamond Rovner Competition.
IIT Chicago-Kent’s advocacy programs have a tradition of excellence. This year, Chicago-Kent teams placed first and second and won all five individual awards in the Appellate Lawyers Association’s 2011 Moot Court Competition. IIT Chicago-Kent also won the National Moot Court Competition regional championship.
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, design and law.
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