The Brooklyn Tech Mock Moot Court Team successfully defended its Mentor Moot Court Competition title in December, winning the New York City Championship for the 3rd straight year and defeating Long Island's champion in the revival of a Championship Round that hasn't taken place since COVID hit.
The Case, written by the Moot Court Board of Fordham Law School, involved Petitioner Maya Pitt, a high school junior running for Senior Class President, displayed a t-shirt with a campaign slogan at the end of her campaign speech during a school assembly. The slogan read, "Pitt is the (poop emoji)." After settling down a brief interruption from the raucous student body during which the slogan was chanted verbally, with the emoji replaced with the rhyming expletive, the principal then removed Petitioner's name from the ballot.
After this, the school was graffitied with the slogan. Suspecting Petitioner, the school safety officer and the principal brought her into a room where she was questioned, falsely admitted to the graffiti, and was told to sign a written apology in exchange for a lesser punishment. Her admission and apology were then used as a partial basis to bring criminal charges against Petitioner, which, following an unsuccessful motion to dismiss, were dropped when the real culprit came forward.
Arguing in front of Second Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, Eastern District of New York Magistrate Judge Taryn Merkl, and Eastern District Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Stong, Tech’s Petitioners defeated Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in The Championship Round. Alisa Vazgryna, Law and Society '23, represented Petitioner in her First Amendment claim against the school for removing her from the ballot. Vola Finn '25 argued the 5th Amendment case; that a civil claim against the school was sustainable based on the involuntary nature of the Petitioner's false confessions.
Arguing before Second Circuit Judge Joseph Bianco, Eastern District of New York Judge Eric Komitee, and Eastern District Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara in the City Finals, our Respondents defeated James Madison High School. Stephanie Pisarevskiy, Law and Society '23, represented the Respondent School on the 1st Amendment issue, arguing that the vulgar nature of the speech allowed for school censorship. Jessica Chernov, Law and Society '23, handled the school's 5th Amendment argument that Miranda rights did not need to be read and that the Petitioners' admissions were not coerced.
Tech social studies and Law & Society teacher David Schepard, who serves as Mock Trial and Mock Court Coach, notes that special thanks go to the co-captain Kaia Behrstock, Law and Society '23, and Tech’s Mentor Law Firm, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, including Joel Kurtzberg, and Tech alumnus Ivan Torres, Technology and Liberal Arts, '06, “who have helped us immeasurably over the years.” He adds, “Tech alumni are always willing and able to help the team become successful, especially including Mariya Budianskaya, Law and Society ’16; Nicole Oszczypala, Law and Society ’22; Michelle Slezinger Law and Society ’19; and Divya Tulsiani, Law and Society ’19."
Tech alumni are always willing and able to help the team become successful, especially including Mariya Budianskaya, Law and Society ’16; Nicole Oszczypala, Law and Society ’22; Michelle Slezinger Law and Society ’19; and Divya Tulsiani, Law and Society ’19.
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