Upon USD's achievement in making the advanced rounds for the first time in Hong Kong a new era for the USD VICAM team began. In a hard fought battle that they thought they had won, the team was informed Freiburg had gone on this year in Hong Kong.  Freiburg would also find out they got the first and second place upstanding oralist awards. Not withstanding, they would go on to lose in the quarterfinals.

The team had worked very hard on the brief this year.  In neither competition had they ever received recognition. That would change this year. They received the honorable mention for the claimant's brief.

The real victory however is not found on paper. It exists in the skills, dedication,  and grit in presenting a well thought out argument. The chances of making it in to the Advanced rounds are 17% (and less than ten percent in Vienna).  Against those odds, the fact that the team has advanced in 3 out of the last 4 years (75%) is very good. The Vienna team of Blaz, Chad, Jen, and Trent are prepared and will certainly be on their way to do battle. Our thanks again to the dean and to some members of the faculty for their support and encouragement. Stay tuned.

-Mike Thorsnes

Thank You!


Thank you to all the competitors, arbitrators, and coaches that made the 5th Annual Michael T. Thorsnes Vis Pre-Moot competition the supreme success that it was.  Each year, we are excited and honored to be host to the growing size and import to part of the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Competition.  This year was a special success because of your participation.

We will be updating the website shortly with pictures of the entire event and video of the semi-final and final rounds of the competition.  Check back soon!
Now a month or so into the brief writing process, we are preparing our briefs for submission to the main competitions.  This year's problem presents some interesting jurisdictional and substantive questions.  Post your issues and comments below to begin a dialogue on the problem.

Also visit our links page for valuable resources to help prepare your briefs.
Written by: Christina Phan

The 2011-2012 Vis Moot problem was released Friday, October 7th, marking the beginning of the next six months of our lives. Our lives will be split into two parts 1) Research and writing and 2) Research and oral advocacy. Yes, we will continue to research and better understand the issues throughout the entire process.

For the next few months the team will be focused on the first component -- researching, better understanding the problem, and parsing out all important issues and facts. We will also be writing 2 claimant and 2 respondent briefs. We have hit the ground running and are spending immense time researching a broad range of issues related to the problem. We are dissecting different arbitration rules, the New York Convention, UNCITRAL, CISG, and case law all across the globe.

            It is a confusing and busy, but extremely exciting period for USD VICAM. We are learning about a new realm of law and how different cultures, countries, and systems of law deal with arbitration and international trade issues. This is one of the most practical and educational experiences of our law school journey and we are truly embracing this great opportunity.

            USD VICAM is also working hard to plan the Fifth Annual Michael Thorsnes International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition February 17-19, 2012. We have updated our web site to include all relevant information regarding the tournament and we are working hard to make this a successful, easy and helpful competition for all participating individuals.

            We hope to see all of you at our tournament. If you have any questions, would like to participate, or assist with the planning of our Pre-Moot please do not hesitate to contact us.

            Also, if you are an attorney, Vis Moot alumni, professor, or arbitrator and would like to assist us with learning more about this years’ problem and helping to developing our writing and advocacy skills we would love your assistance. You can contact us at USDVICAM@gmail.com.

By: Christina Phan

On the week of September 12th VICAM hosted a two-day try-out process where more than 40 applicants vied for spots on the 2011-2012 team. With the assistance of USD Law Professors, Lawrence and Snyder, and two VICAM Traveling team alums, Josiah Reid and AJ Kessler, we selected 7 second and third year students to join the team as senior members and 5 first year students to be 1L associates.

The candidates were given the problem of one of the old Moot Competitions and given a week to prepare a five minute oral argument on one of the issues. While in the room, the applicants faced the four judges who questioned them during their oral argument, and in the back of the room was the entire returning team taking notes on their performance. The judges ranked the candidates based on style, clarity, structure of argument, advocacy skills, and knowledge of the facts and rules. After all of the competitors had completed their try-outs, using the top selections of the judges and the candidates resume, the team selected members to join.

We would like to introduce the 2011-2012 VICAM Team:

Senior Associates: Adrien 'Trent' Ruark (2L) Alex Willett (3L) Blaz Gutierrez (3L)Chad Peace (3L) Christina Phan (3L)Erik Keto (2L) Giorgio Sassine (2L) Jennifer Truong (3L)Kaitlyn Reilly (3L) Matt Carter (2L) Michael McDonald (2L) Stephanie Parazo (2L) Stephanie Zigler (3L)Trent Kashima (2L)Vivian Pham (3L)   First-Year Associates Kristen Lee Neal Gibeault Nika Antonikova Jennifer Lai Josephine 'Avelina' Burbridge   We look forward to an exciting year of research, brief writing, oral advocacy practices, pre-moots, and traveling to Vienna and Hong Kong!

With your support, we will be able to meet our goals for this year... please consider contributing to our program.
The USD Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team (“VICAM”) competes against over 300 international teams from over 80 countries across the world. As part of the perks, most of the team travels to either Vienna or Hong Kong towards the end of the year for tournaments known as the “Olympics of International Trade.” 

Sound Interesting? Ask any current member or alumni of the team. Being a member of VICAM is hands-down the best experience that a law student can have in terms of developing oral advocacy skills, research skills, writing skills, and developing friendships around the world.

Each year the competition features an international sales contract dispute governed by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). 

VICAM begins their training in October for the March competitions. In preparation, the USD competes in practice competitions, we host our own practice competition, and we practice arguing under foreign laws and international trade agreements. 

USD has performed extremely well at the international competitions winning advocacy, brief awards, and on multiple occasions, have advanced to the final elimination rounds of competition. 

If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a member of the 2011-2012 team, keep your eyes and ears open for updates on our informational sessions and try-out processes.  
With the school year right around the corner, the first VICAM meeting will be held on Monday, August 15th.

At the meeting we will be discussing:
  1. Tryouts
  2. Team Responsibilities
  3. Fundraising
  4. our Booth at the fair

Stay tuned for the updates.  For more information, contact usdvicam@gmail.com...or visit our contact page...that's what its for.
The biggest reason we set up this website is so we could create a centralized location for listing all the Moot competitions around the world.  If you are a representative of any VisMoot team, please send us any information included your contact information, your website, and you pre-moot competition if you are holding one and we would love to get all this information updated on our site.

Also, if you have interested in writing on our blog, we would love to have you here.  We would be happy to provide a central hub of information via our blog and forum.