Over Columbus weekend another conquest occurred on North American lands, for the fourth consecutive time BHS Model Congress won the Princeton Moot Court Tournament. Seniors Kseniya Shavrova and Billy Irwin kept Branford's winning streak alive by defeating Delaram Takyar and Alex Roberts in another Branford dominated final round. After 5 court rounds on Friday and Saturday, the two experienced senior teams of Shavrova and Takyar made the Tourney Top 8 (35 teams from 7 schools participated). The BHS MC teams then won their quarter and semi rounds in the afternoon against teams from New Jersey and New York before facing off against each other Saturday night in front of a panel of 9 Princeton judges, who made the final round extremely engaging and entertaining with their constant questioning during their 20 minute each argument time. After some deliberation time and a close decision, the judges announced Shavrova and Irwin the 2010 Fall Champions.
<br /><br />Before the conference, the Branford teams (5 total, 2 senior and 3 sophomores, Zach Acunzo & Edgar Ortiz, Pompeo Mazzella & Carissa Kamin, Chase Fowler & Robby Hacker) prepared their arguments as both petitioner and respondent for a case entitled “State of Midlands v. Benjamin Quale Means.” The case focused on the fictional 15-year-old Benjamin Means, who was convicted by the government for assisting an internationally renowned terrorist assemble bomb-making materials. The police had accosted Means and interrogated him for 6 days without reading him his Miranda rights. After confessing, Means was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole on two counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism and one count of terrorism. He then appealed his conviction and sentence on 5th and 8th Amendment grounds. As petitioner, teams acted as the counsel for the state of Midlands and defended the conviction and sentence. Respondent represented Means and attempted to appeal his case. Both sides used previous Supreme Course precedents (40 pages worth) to construct coherent and convincing arguments with game faces.
<br /><br />Final congratulations go to Delaram Takyar and Kseniya Shavrova for winning Best Attorney Gavels, for both it was their second attorney gavel at PMoot. Delaram won the tourney last fall with Caitlin ONeill vs Keah Lonergan and Gio Esposito, and she was also in the finals last spring with Caitlin but that time they lost to Nicole Hobbs and Keah Lonergan. Hobbs and ONeill began BHS MC dominance the Spring of 2009 in our first tourney victory; both alumni are currently involved in their college's Moot Court/Mock Trial teams, ONeill at Duke, Hobbs at Yale.
<br /><br />What a way to begin the new year! BHS MCongress is now preparing three nights a week for the upcoming Princeton Model Congress in Washington DC the weekend before Thanksgiving and the Yale MCongress the weekend after. Over 100 students will attend these conferences. Hopefully a few more awards will accompany their return...