Campbell Law competes at 26th annual William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Photo of four Campbell Law students standing behind their three judges sitting at a table at the Vis Competition in Hong Kong

Campbell Law competed at the 26th annual William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot from March 31 to April 6 in Hong Kong, China.

Sponsored by McGuire Woods Attorneys, the team included third-year students Taylor Langley and Sarah Skinner and second-year students Lindsey Reedy, Joseph Gorga and Michael Chaney. The team was coached by Adjunct Professor Andy Penry, a partner at Penry Reimann, PLC and Wake County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway ’86.

The team competed in four preliminary rounds and received praise for their conversational tone, unique legal arguments, and their overall presence and style.

Skinner wrote on Monday, “Our team has finished the first general round against the Free University of Berlin. Michael Chaney and Taylor Langley represented Campbell very strongly, arguing for Respondent Black Beauty Equestrian. Chaney argued the substantive points while Langley covered the procedural. We have three more general rounds to go before finding out if we advance to the elimination. Our second general round is tomorrow against South China Normal University.”

Following are the comments the arbitrators — hailing from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Afghanistan —  had for the team following Round One: “Very tight arguments; obviously spent a great deal of time in preparation; the structure was clear; handling of questions was impressive.”

Four student advocates stand behind their judges seated at a table at the Vis Competition in Hong Kong. A male student on the left and a female student on the right sit at a table at the Vis competition in Hong Kong and appear to go over their notes.

On Tuesday, Skinner provided the following update:

Campbell Law’s Vis Moot team has just completed the second of four general rounds. Following yesterday’s strong performance by 3Ls Michael Chaney and Taylor Langley, 2Ls Matt Gorga and Lindsey Reedy Heck continued to pave the way for Campbell Law’s advancement to the elimination rounds. Heck and Gorga argued for Claimant Phar Lap Allevamento against students from South China Normal University. Heck covered the substantive issues concerning the possibility of price adaptation when the parties agreed to a sales contract containing a hardship clause and a DDP provision.  Gorga argued the procedural issues concerning whether the Tribunal has the authority to adapt the contract when the arbitration clause is itself silent as to the choice of law in the arbitration clause. 
The arbitrators/judges for this round noted that it was a “very, very good round.” Both Gorga and Heck were praised for their “nice conversational tone.” Particularly, Gorga was complimented for his ability to “put really difficult things in a simple way.” Commenting on Heck, the arbitrators stated “you had our attention.” For this round, the arbitrators hailed from India, the United States, and the Russian Federation. 
The team did not advance past the preliminary rounds. The students said, however, that they gained valuable experience in arbitration throughout this competition and were grateful to the law school and their sponsors for the opportunity.

The Vis Moot was created as a clinical tool for training law students in crucial aspects of the procedure: research, drafting and advocacy. International business community’s marked preference for arbitration as the means for resolving trans-border commercial disputes, is the exact skill the Vis Moot chooses to enhance.

 “McGuire Woods has financially paved the way for our student advocates, and we are blessed to enjoy our relationship with them,” Leonard said. “Their gift provides the opportunity for our students to learn, get competitive experience and show the rest of the world how our first-class advocacy program is molding the future leading attorneys of tomorrow. We are in debt to them for their generosity.” 



Morgan Pierce

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