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Political Science’s Ringel Leads Teams to Moot Court Nationals

Published: January 15, 2010

As a result of one of its most successful Moot Court Regionals ever, CSULB is sending four teams and a hybrid squad to the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national tournament in mid-January at Florida International University School of Law in Miami.

 Lewis Ringel
Photo by Victoria Sanchez
Lewis Ringel

“To have five teams advance to nationals and one to the semi-finals speaks volumes to the hard work and talent exhibited by our students, assistant coaches Pat Dyson and Anastasia Benzel, and my graduate assistant Amy Fernandez,” said Lewis Ringel, a CSULB lecturer in political science who is in his third year serving as director of the campus’ moot court program. “We appreciate all the support we get from the campus – especially the Hauth Center, the College of Liberal Arts, the president, the provost and our students’ families and friends. We will strive to make CSULB proud in Miami.”

Leading the way for CSULB and earning an automatic bid to nationals is the team of senior Tim Appelbaum, a finance – investments major from Huntington Beach and junior Reema Abboud, a journalism major from Cypress. They are just the second and third students in CSULB history to earn multiple bids to the national tournament.

CSULB teams also earning automatic bids are senior Ryan King, a political science major from Garden Grove and junior Jillian Ewan, a political science major from Seal Beach; senior Kyle Bourne, a political science major from Silverado, and senior Richard Bosanko, a political science major from Torrance; senior Ashlie Brillaut, a political science major from Long Beach and senior Jose Reynoso, a political science major from Long Beach; and senior Kathleen McHale, a political science major from Atascadero, who earned a bid partnering with Kyle Lee, a senior majoring in political science at Chapman University.

The CSULB team also includes two alternates, junior Amy Price, a communication major from La Verne, and senior Matthew Gunter, a political science major from Lakewood.

Moot court teams are made up of two individuals and their combined oral argument must be 20 minutes with each member of the two-person team presenting a minimum of seven minutes. Not knowing which viewpoint it will be presenting, each team should have the ability to support both arguments.

Students compete before federal and state judges, law clerks, lawyers, professors, and former moot court competitors. They ask students questions and grade them on the basis of knowledge of the case, response to questioning, forensic skills and their demeanor.

Teams from colleges and universities throughout the nation argue the same case, with this year’s hypothetical case mirroring in part an 8th Amendment case presently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The certified questions ask whether the sentence of life without parole for a 15-year-old who raped another 15-year-old violates the 8th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and whether the police who spied the rape, while investigating a suspected drug ring, needed a warrant under the 4th Amendment for the visual enhancement device they used to surveil the location where the rape occurred.

Thirty-four teams competed at the Western Regional, hosted by CSULB in early December. Five of those teams were from CSULB along with teams from Chapman College, University of San Diego, Carroll College (Montana), Claremont McKenna College, Patrick Henry College (Virginia), Fresno State University, Cal State Fullerton, Brigham Young University-Idaho, University of North Texas, Texas Wesleyan University, Mt. Saint Mary’s College, and Westwood Community College.

Four CSULB students won top orator awards at the regional event — Reynoso (second), Ewan (third), Gunter (seventh), and Brillault (ninth). In addition, Appelbaum and Abboud were awarded prizes of $250 each by the Long Beach Bar Association for their performance as CSULB’s top team.

For more information, contacts Ringel at 562/985-4708 or by e-mail at Those interested can also visit the moot court Web site.