students participating in the Desmond competition in the Letro Courtroom.

The Desmond Competition

For over three decades, this intramural competition gives participants the opportunity to argue a constitutional law case related to matters currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.

The Charles S. Desmond Moot Court Competition is the most prestigious appellate advocacy competition at the law school, attracting several local lawyers and judges to volunteer their time as judges.  Accomplished lawyers from Western New York and law school professors judge competitors’ oral arguments in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, while federal and state judges evaluate the finalists. Competitors also submit a written brief formatted using the rules to the United States Supreme Court.

Organized by the School of Law's Buffalo Moot Court Board, the Desmond competition is one of the most popular courtroom competitions the school offers. The competition is open to all second-and third-year law students annually.

2020 Desmond Moot Court Competition

Our annual intramural Charles S. Desmond Moot Court Competition concluded on Saturday, November 14.

After four rounds of arguments, the final rounds were judged by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy, US Magistrate Judge, WDNY; Aviva Abramovsky, Dean and Professor of Law, UB School of Law; and Paul J. Cambria, Jr., Criminal Defense Attorney, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, LLP. 

Congratulations to our winners Daniel Caves '21 and Patrick Callahan '22.

Other winners include:

  • Overall Runners-Up: Canio Marasco '22 and Marc Cange '22
  • Best Brief: Daniel Caves '21 and Patrick Callahan '22
  • Best Brief Runners-Up: Jenna Bauer '21 and Jeremy D. Trudell '21
  • Best Oral Advocates: Canio Marasco '22 and Daniel Caves '21 

Watch the competition’s final round:

screenshot of opening video screen announcing judges for the final round of the Desmond Competition

Buffalo Moot Court Board


President: MacKenzie Hamill
Vice President:
Briana Krawczyk
Joseph Fumerelle
Co-Public Relations Director
: Jonathan Abrams, Donald Sonnefeld

Desmond Competition Committee

  • Chair: Rebecca Valentine
  • Adam Amirault
  • Nichole Austin

Wechsler Competition Committee:

  • Chair: Leah Farwell
  • Lucas Fromen
  • John Conti

Adviser: Professor Lucinda Finley

Contact Us
For additional questions or comments regarding the competition, please contact:

Buffalo Moot Court Board
University at Buffalo School of Law
404 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo NY 14260