Frederick Douglass Moot Court teams win awards

2016 team.

First row: Safa Ferrer ‘17, Ashmita Roka ’17, Maria Apruzzese ‘17 , Natasha Yunas ‘17. Second row: Megan Knepka '17, Michael Marrero ‘17, Andrew DeMasters ’16, Kevin Lelonek '16.  Third:  Chris Sasiadek '16, John Minnick ’17, Mathew John '16, Andrew Tabashneck '16

John Minnick '17; right: Michael Marrero '17.

3rd Place Team: John Minnick '17; right: Michael Marrero '17

UB team — second-year student Ashmita Roka and third-year student Christopher Sasiadek — won the award for Best Petitioner Brief at the regional competition.

The Buffalo team of John Minnick and Michael Marrero, both second-year students, was one of three teams selected to go on to the national competition after competing in the Northeast Regional round in January in Newark, N.J.

The three Northeast Regional teams joined 15 other teams selected during six regional competitions to participate in the national finals, which were held March 8-13, 2016, in Baltimore.

Ashmita Roka '17 & Christopher Sasiadek '16.

Best Petitioner Brief: Ashmita Roka '17 & Christopher Sasiadek '16

Six School of Law teams competed in the Northeast Regional round of the Douglass competition, a national appellate-advocacy competition held annually since 1975 by the National Black Law Student Association, the largest law student organization in the United States.

In addition to Minnick, Marrero, Roka and Sasiadek, other UB students who competed in the regional round were third-year students Kevin Leloneck, Mathew John, Andrew DeMasters and Andrew Tabashneck, and second-year students Maria Apruezzese, Natasha Yunas, Meghan Knepka and Safa Robinson.

To be chosen to represent the law schooll in the Douglass competition, students were required to compete in an intramural selection process by submitting a case brief and making an oral argument during spring 2015. Successful competitors then were matched into teams of two.

For the regional competition, each team completed a 30-page brief on the constitutionality of a potentially discriminatory felony disenfranchisement statute under the 14th Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.