Leigh Llewelyn '12 wins 2010 Jessup Cup tournament

October 11, 2010Duke Law News

Leigh Llewelyn ’12 is Duke Law School’s 2010 Jessup Cup champion. Llewelyn and runner-up James Gillenwater ’12 argued in the final round of the international law tournament on Oct. 4, before a three-judge panel of Duke Law alumni.

The Jessup Cup is the Law School’s intramural tournament based on The Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Mooting oral arguments before the International Court of Justice, upper-year or LLM Jessup Cup participants argue a “closed-universe” international law problem.

The 2010 tournament concerned a dispute between two fictional states, Rawdon, which had suffered violent attacks by an activist group representing a repressed minority, and Amelia, which was accused of supporting and harboring the perpetrators of the attacks. Llewelyn, who is pursuing an MA in English in addition to a JD, represented the applicant, Rawdon.

James Maxwell ’66, a partner in the Durham firm of Maxwell, Freeman & Bowman and a senior lecturing fellow at Duke Law, presided over the arguments as president of the International Court of Justice. Maxwell has served for more than seven years as coach of the National Moot Court Team as an adviser to the moot court program. Harry Hobgood ’72, an assistant United States attorney in the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Greensboro, N.C., and David B. Chenkin ’82, an administrative partner at Zeichner Ellman & Krause in New York, also served as judges.

In addition to the tournament finalists, Jessup Cup semi-finalists David Riesenberg ’11 and Jennifer Hayes ’12 have accepted invitations to join Duke Law School’s 2010-2011 Moot Court Board. Robert McGuire ’11 served as 2010 Jessup Cup coordinator.

Established in 1959, the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is organized by the International Law Students Association and takes place in the spring of each year. Regional champions advance to the international rounds held each spring in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), where they compete against other U.S. regional and international championship teams. Approximately 1500 students from more than 600 law schools in more than 100 nations participate. Among other Duke Law Jessup victories at the regional, national, and international levels of competition, the 2010 team advanced, undefeated, to the Superregional round, earning two individual “Best Oralist” awards.