In this issue:
Students Shine in Professional Skills Competitions
Demonstrating uncommon proficiency in lawyering skills ranging from appellate oral advocacy to dispute resolution through negotiation, University of Idaho law students have earned accolades this fall.
Under the auspices of the College’s Board of Student Advocates (BSA), the College of Law conducted its 21st annual Hon. Raymond C. McNichols Moot Court Competition – the College’s most comprehensive internal moot court competition. The winner of the final oral argument was Jennifer Roark, who came to the College of Law with a baccalaureate degree from the University of Utah. Joining her in the final round was eventual runner-up Mary Grant, a graduate of Boise State University. Mike Englesby (University of Idaho) earned honors for the combination of best brief and overall advocacy, while Robert Bleazard (University of Utah) and Kiley Cobb (Eastern Oregon University) won recognition as oral argument semifinalists. Ben Onosco (University of Washington) received commendation for developing the moot court problem, featuring issues of commercial speech under the First Amendment. The competition was overseen by BSA vice-president Stephanie Nemore (University of Vermont) and colleagues, as well as law faculty member Laurie O’Neal.
The final round was judged by distinguished members of the bench and bar: Hon. Warren Jones, Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court; Hon. Kelley Arnold (UI Law ’61), Senior Federal Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington; Hon. Darla Williamson (UI Law ’72), District Judge, Fourth Judicial District of Idaho; John Stellmon (UI Law ’84), Senior Vice President for Health Care, Regence Blue Shield; and Michael E. McNichols (UI Law ’63), partner in the Lewiston law firm of Clements, Brown & McNichols. Mr. McNichols, son of the competition’s namesake, and a long-time supporter of the competition, donated funds for student awards again this year.
The quality of the final round argument was noted by Justice Jones, who said it would rank among the best he had heard at the Idaho Supreme Court. Judge Arnold added that the argument was “just outstanding,” and that his Q&A with the student advocates was “like dancing with the stars.”
The College of Law hosted in Boise the Northwest regional round of the American Bar Association Negotiation Competition. Twenty-four teams participated, including two teams selected from an intra-law school competition at the University of Idaho:  David Arkoosh (a graduate of Gonzaga University) and Dylan Hedden-Nicely (University of British Columbia), and  Megan Marshall (University of Idaho) and Nikeela Crater (Eastern Washington University), all of whom who had been assisted in their preparation by faculty advisers Maureen Laflin and Lee Dillion. The team of Arkoosh and Hedden-Nicely advanced to the “final four” level of the competition, where they were joined by teams from the University of California-Berkeley (Boalt Hall), University of California-Davis, and University of Oregon. Based upon overall scores, the team from California-Davis eventually won the competition although the team of Arkoosh and Hedden-Nicely outscored them in an earlier round.
College of Law externship coordinator Katherine (Katie) Ball, Professor Pat Costello, and UI Boise office staff assistant Elaine Kempton collaborated with approximately 50 members of the Treasure Valley bench and bar to organize, host, and judge this regional competition. A banquet for competitors, coaches, and judges was generously sponsored by the Idaho State Bar’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.
The College’s National Moot Court team, consisting of Matt Hanson (a graduate of Boise State University), Bryninn Erickson (College of Idaho), and Kassandra (Kassy) Slaven (Idaho State University) made an impressive showing at the regional competition held in Portland, Oregon. The team advanced to the quarter-finals, where, according to their faculty adviser, Laurie O’Neal, they lost “by a hair” to the University of Washington team, which went on to win the competition. Matt Hanson received a Best Oralist award, in a tie with one of the U.W. competitors, and Brynnin Erickson received second-place oralist honors. Funding for the National Moot Court team is generously provided by the Pocatello law firm of Cooper & Larsen.
State Bar Leaders Gather to Review Legal Education Program in Moscow
The College received its annual visit in November from the President and Commissioners of the Idaho State Bar, together with the President of the Idaho Law Foundation and members of the Bar/Foundation professional staff. Continuing a tradition nearly three decades old, the delegation visited classes and held meetings with the law faculty, staff, students, and the University administration on topics ranging from the College’s “second century” initiative to the University’s current budget challenges. The meetings also addressed the ongoing subjects of bar licensure for law faculty and keeping legal education accessible in an era of rising costs.
Attending the November gathering (and donating their time in doing so) were Idaho State Bar President Newal Squyres (Boise); Idaho Law Foundation President Charles “Chuck” Homer (Idaho Falls); Bar Commissioners Douglas Mushlitz (Lewiston), Deborah Ferguson (Boise), James Meservy (Jerome), and Reed Larsen (Pocatello). Also attending were Executive Director Diane Minnich, Bar Counsel Brad Andrews, and Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program Legal Director Mary Hobson. The College is grateful for the distinctively collegial relationship between the legal academy and the legal profession fostered by these leadership visits. Further information about the visit is available from Associate Dean Helen Albertson-Ploucha (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Special Edition of “The Advocate” Illuminates the History of Idaho Legal Education
Collaborating with the Idaho Legal History Society, chaired by United States Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush, the Idaho State Bar has devoted the November-December, 2009, edition of its official publication, “The Advocate,” to a history of legal education in Idaho. The publication focuses largely upon the University of Idaho College of Law, commemorating the College’s centennial anniversary (1909-2009). In addition to historical photographs, the magazine features a 100-year overview of the College of Law by Washington State University historian Robert McCoy; a survey of curricular highlights over the decades, by College of Law library faculty member Michael Greenlee; a summary of the College’s signature program of pro bono service, by program director Jack McMahon; and other articles noting the impacts of faculty members upon Idaho law, providing a dateline of significant events in the College’s history, and taking a look ahead at the College’s future.
Members of the Idaho State Bar have received this publication, which seems destined to become a collector’s item. Alumni and friends of the College of Law who are not members of the Idaho State Bar, but who would like to receive a copy, are invited to contact the College’s Development Coordinator: Stephen Perez (email@example.com).