Best of luck to teams competing at the Cultural Heritage Moot Court Competition

Alexander Calder's 'Flamingo'
Alexander Calder’s ‘Flamingo’

Best of luck to the teams competing this weekend at the national cultural heritage moot court competition in Chicago. The competition is run by DePaul’s moot court society and the Lawyer’s Committee for Cultural Heritage Competition.

Given that 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of Parliament’s decision to purchase the sculptures from Lord Elgin, it is apt that this years problems deals with two issues over whether a U.S. Court would have jurisdiction and should hear a suit between the British Museum and the Acropolis Museum.

Co-sponsored by the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, the National Cultural Heritage Law ​Moot Court Competition is the only moot court competition in the world that focuses exclusively on cultural heritage law issues. The Competition provides students with the opportunity to advocate in the nuanced landscape of cultural heritage, which addresses our past and our identity, and which has frequently become the subject of contentious legal debates and policies. This dynamic and growing legal field deals with the issues that arise as our society comes to appreciate the important symbolic, historical and emotional role that cultural heritage plays in our lives. It encompasses several disparate areas: protection of archaeological sites; preservation of historic structures and the built environment; preservation of and respect for both tangible and intangible indigenous cultural heritage; the international market in art works and antiquities; and recovery of stolen art works.

Registration Open for DePaul’s Cultural Heritage Law Competition

The Ilissos sculpture, on display in London, originally adorned the Parthenon
The Ilissos sculpture, on display in London, originally adorned the Parthenon

Applications are now open for the terrific Cultural Heritage Moot Court competition. This is a very well-run competition, and a lot of fun every year: Continue reading “Registration Open for DePaul’s Cultural Heritage Law Competition”

Thank You

Calder’s Flamingo in front of the Dirkson Federal Building

I just want to thank everyone who had a hand in organizing the Cultural Heritage Moot Court Competition in Chicago last weekend, especially the folks at DePaul and the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Protection.

I heard a lot of strong arguments all weekend, with a very strong team from Chicago-Kent edging out a South Texas team of Adriana Lopez, Joe Bramanti and Joel Glover in a well-argued final round.

I especially want to thank the two teams from South Texas who competed at a very high level, with Brian Evans earning a tie for best orallist—and along with his teammate Chris McKinney earning the runner up for best brief. The best-argued round of the weekend came when the two South Texas teams were paired up in the quarterfinals, and in a close round Adriana and Joel won. Both teams knew each other’s arguments so well—it was a shame they were paired up so early in the competition.

These guys were awful fun to coach.

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Congratulations (UPDATE)

I want to pass along my thanks to De Paul Law School, the Lawyer’s Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, Patty Gerstenblith, and all the folks who worked hard to put on a super competition last weekend in Chicago. The Appellate problem was a very difficult argument, which really let all the advocates shine. It involved a Nazi-era claim, and the attempts by a claimant to overcome the Federal Immunity from Seizure Act to sue for damages while the painting was on temporary exhibition in the United States.

 I’m especially proud of the South Texas team of Judith Westmoreland, Christopheer McKinney, and Jessica Kasischke who earned the runner up best brief award, and were also runners up in the finals, after arguing against a very impressive team from Chicago-Kent. I also want to congratulate the other team from South Texas, Omar Chawdhary, Brian Evans, and Lera Grabarnik who competed hard at the competition.

I have a lot of fun coaching the teams, as it allows me to channel my inner basketball coach. The competition also does a super job of highlighting cultural heritage law, and introducing these issues to a new group of students every year. Many thanks to all the teams and organizers for a super competition.


I’ve tracked down the results of the competition, which are:

Best Brief: Team O – Chicago Kent School of Law
Best Brief Runner Up: Team A – South Texas College of Law
Best Oralist: Jennifer Bloom, John Marshall Law School
Best Oralist Runner Up: Bryan Bienias, Chicago Kent School of Law

Competition Runner Up: Team A – South Texas College of Law (Chris
McKinney, Judith Westmoreland, Jessica Kasischke)
Competition Champion: Team E – Chicago Kent School of Law (Caitlyn
Jones, Bryan Bienias, Stephen Gardner

Congratulations again to all the teams.

Questions or Comments? Email me at