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Students from International Moot Court Program Compete in Spanish-Speaking Competition in Buenos Aires

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Miami Law students Saul Cardenas, Jessica Marroquin, Estefania Nasielski and Carlos Nunez

Miami Law students Saul Cardenas, Jessica Marroquin, Estefania Nasielski and Carlos Nunez pose for a picture following the final round of the International Commercial Arbitration Competition in Buenos Aires on Sept. 19. (Photo: Provided to Miami Law)

For the first time, Miami Law's International Moot Court Program participated in the UBA International Commercial Arbitration. The competition, organized by the University of Buenos Aires, is popularly regarded as the biggest Moot exercise in Latin America.

This year, 52 schools from 17 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, France, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and the U.S.) participated in the Spanish-speaking only competition. Miami Law second-year student Jessica Marroquin received an honorable mention for best oralist during the competition, which took place from September 14-20.

"Representing the University of Miami School of Law in the International Commercial Arbitration Competition in Buenos Aires was a truly rewarding and enriching experience," Marroquin said. She, along with fellow classmates Carlos Nunez, 2L, Estefania Nasielski, 2L and Saul Cardenas, 3L, began training for the event last April. "In preparing for the competition, I was able to perfect my Spanish-language skills in legal writing and speaking. But more importantly, the competition introduced me to the world of international arbitration," she said.

Paula Arias, director of the International Moot Court Program, and Miami Law graduate Daniel Viellaville, JD'03, served as the team's coaches. Students were also able to gain insight from Miami Law Adjunct Professors and local arbitration experts—attorneys John Rooney and Luis O'Naghten—who each shared their experiences on arbitration in Latin America.

As a way to prepare, the team researched and drafted two memorials, one for the claimant and one for the respondent, as part of the competition assignment. Throughout the summer, they also simulated oral hearings of an arbitration case twice a week with guidance from professors, attorneys and counsels such as the Honorable Judge Juan Ramirez and Miami Managing Member Rachel Rodriguez from McDonald Hopkins LLC.

"The students did a terrific job representing UM Law in Buenos Aires," said Arias. "They behaved like real attorneys with professionalism and commitment to their clients."