UNM Teams Receive High Scores at NALSA Moot Court

NALSA Moot Court
In Hawaii, (l-r): Dan Rey-Bear, Judge William Parnall (`79), JoEtta Toppah (`12), Kelly Dennis (`12) and Rodina Cave.

Five teams from the University of New Mexico School of Law impressed the judges at the 20th Annual National Native American Law Students Association's moot court competition. One team, comprised of JoEtta Toppah (`12) and Kelly Dennis (`12), made it to the Sweet 16, out of 64 competing teams.

The other UNM law students who traveled to Honolulu for the national competition were Leland Begay (`13), Aubony Burns (`13), Kelly Davis (`13), Devin Delrow (`12), Cherie Dominic (`12), Loya Henderson (`13), Evie Jilek (`12) and LeeAnne Kane (`13).

NALSA Moot Court Team
The UNM team (l-r): Kelly Dennis (`12), JoEtta Toppah (`12), Judge William Parnell (`79), Kelly Davis (`13), Rodina Cave, Aubony Burns (`13), Loya Henderson (`13), Leland Begay (`13), Cherie Dominic (`12), LeeAnne Kane (`13), Devon Delrow (`12), Evie Jelik (`12).

All of the teams argued twice and received top scores from most judges on their knowledge of Indian law. The team of Delrow and Dominic received perfect scores for courtroom etiquette from all judges except one, and they scored exceptionally high in Responsiveness to Questions and Persuasiveness and Advocacy categories. 

The 2012 competition problem, Governor of Molokini, et al. v. Secretary of the Interior, et al., was drafted by Associate Professor Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law. The complex problem involved the Office of Federal Recognition Administrative Process for Native Molokini and questions of trust land status and the ability to define membership of Native Molokini.

The teams were coached by Rodina Cave and Dan Rey-Bear, with additional direction and support from Judge William Parnall (`79) of the Second Judicial District.

May 1, 2012