PUBLISHED:April 14, 2023

Duke Law School's Vis Moot team celebrates successes in competitions in Prague and Vienna


The team won awards for its briefs and oral presentations in both Vienna and in a pre-moot earlier this spring in Prague.

Duke Law's Vis Moot oralists Duke Law's Vis Moot oralists

Duke Law’s Vis Moot team brought home two honorable mentions from Vienna, Austria, where they competed in the 30th annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

The eight member team won honorable mention for the Werner Melis Award Best Memorandum for Respondent in the Vis Moot competition, held March 31 - April 6. The team included oralists Braden Fairweather ’24, Mary Aline Fertin JD/LLM ’23, Sarah Tinaphong JD/LLM ’23, and Lei Zhu JD/LLM ’24, as well as Lea Daun LLM ’23, Amy Hartzell JD/LLM ’24, Lucas Mears ’24, and Mark Usatinsky ’24, who conducted research and drafting.

Their brief was among the best of 378 briefs submitted from 89 jurisdictions.

Additionally, Tinaphong won Honorable Mention for the Martin Domke Award for Best Individual Oralist, placing among the best of more than 2,500 competitors.

Duke Law's Vis Moot team was led by Senior Lecturing Fellow and Vis Moot Team Head Coach Ryan Mellske JD/LLM ’09. Ronja Wosch LLM ’23 served as student coach.

The team spent six months preparing for the event, traveling to Prague for a pre-moot this spring where they placed sixth among teams and Fertin was named third best speaker. Additional photos from the trip can be viewed at the team's LinkedIn page.

Students who are interested in participating in next year’s Vis Moot can contact Mellske for more information at