PUBLISHED:March 13, 2009

Duke Law moot court team wins regional round of international competition

March 13, 2009 — For the second consecutive year, a Duke Law team has won the North American Regional Round of the ELSA Moot Court Competition on World Trade Organization (WTO) Law. Second-year classmates Gregory Dixon, Michael Gilles, Timothy Reibold, and Jonathan Skinner defeated the University of Kansas team in a final round judged by five trade law experts, including a sitting member of the WTO Appellate Body. The Duke Law team now advances to the international round of competition in Taipei, Taiwan in May.

Coached by Carla Reyes ’09 and Amber Jordan ’10, the Duke Law team also received awards for best overall written submissions, best complainant submission, and best respondent submission. Team members received accolades for oratory as well: Dixon was named best orator in the preliminary rounds, Reibold in the semi-final round, and Gilles in the final.

The ELSA Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the European Law Students Association, is a simulated hearing in the WTO dispute- settlement system. Competitor teams represent both the complainant and respondent parties to the case by presenting oral submissions in front of a panel.

The case argued by the Duke Law team concerns a developed country’s challenge to a developing country’s attempts to take restrictive measures to protect its environment. “It is an extremely complicated case, with three separate trade measures being challenged under four different WTO agreements,” explained Reyes. “The team’s strong performance can only be attributed to true team work, and the extraordinary dedication of the team’s members.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that a Duke Law team has advanced to the international round of the competition.