The William Floyd High School Mentor Moot Court team recently secured the Suffolk County, Long Island and New York championships in the Long Island Mentor Moot Court competition in which students play the role of attorneys arguing a case before the United States Supreme Court on a constitutional matter. The team defeated Bay Shore High School to secure the Suffolk title, overcame Massapequa High School to take the Long Island championship and then defeated James Madison High School of Brooklyn in the Long Island/New York City finals. William Floyd is the first team to defeat a New York City champion in the history of the competition.
The team, led by Mock Trial and Mentor Moot Court advisor William Hennessy, who has led his Mock Trial teams to six state championships since 1999, and with guidance and assistance from legal advisors, William Floyd alumni and former Mock Trial champions Stephanie Ehresman Suarez (’03), Keri Joeckel (’03) and George DellaRatta (’05), argued in various rounds both for and against a fictional high school student who may have had his Constitutional rights violated by a fictional school district.
“The academic achievement level of this current team is beyond impressive,” said Mr. Hennessy, who is equally as impressed with the unique collaboration of the team’s legal advisors – dedicated and talented students of the past who share their knowledge and experience as attorneys – with the dedicated and talented students of today.
Defending the fictional student, Nathalia Reis and Maille Bowerman defeated Bay Shore to win the Suffolk County Championship, followed by Jenny Le and Daniel Potemkin defending the fictional school district and knocking off Massapequa to secure the Long Island crown. William Floyd then did what no other Long Island school has ever done, defeated the New York City champions, James Madison of Brooklyn, with a masterful performance by Nathalia Reis and Maille Bowerman defending the fictional student.
William Floyd’s Mentor Moot Court team members include Maille Bowerman, Nathalia Reis, Jenny Le, Daniel Potemkin, Patrick Barnett, Farihah Chowdhury, Madison Gray, Hamnah Irfan, Jasmine Liu, Skyler Mongardi, Logan Novick, Saniyyah Pitner and Neha Yousuf.
The Eastern District of New York Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, in partnership with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Nassau County Bar Association, Hofstra University Law School, and the Justice Resource Center, and Fordham Law collaborate to provide this unique opportunity for students. The program helps high school students become more acquainted with the law, legal process, and the fundamental values upon which laws are made. Participation improves essential life skills like public speaking, confidence, poise, and critical thinking, and encourages participants to pursue a legal education and professional career.
New York City has been hosting their competition for the past 35 years and four years ago it expanded to include a final competition between the New York City and the Long Island champions.