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Willem C. Vis International

Commercial Arbitration Moot



A.Salameh Production 2018

Dagny Broome

John Calhoun

Liz Hanford

Joshua Heffernan

Rae Kyritsi

Professor Patrick Mc Fadden

Professor Margaret Moses

Erin Wegner

By Maria Gabriela Marques Mejias

Every year the Vis competition becomes more

intense and Pre-Moots more important. Teams from
around the world dedicate a semester - sometimes
exclusively - to preparing their arguments, but
impressive oral advocacy skills are no longer enough.
Responsiveness is the name of the game. This raises
the question of how students can effectively prepare
to respond to arguments on the fly. Here is where
Pre-Moots become crucial, because they provide a
venue for students to practice against other teams
and present arguments to panels of seasoned
attorneys, arbitrators and previous moot participants.

Loyola University Chicago School of Law has

hosted a Pre-Moot for over a decade and this year
was no exception. With the support of The Chartered
Institute of Arbitrators and the Chicago International
Dispute Resolution Association, Loyola hosted 20
teams from 9 different schools, giving students a taste
of the real competition.

Just a few days after the Hong Kong and Vienna

memoranda were due, these teams met at Loyola to
put their oral advocacy skills to the test. For many
participants, this was their first time arguing as
claimant and respondent on the same day or even
presenting in front of a panel. The feedback that
arbitrators gave to competitors was particularly
meaningful this early on in the preparation process,
because it truly helped students perfect the content of
their arguments and style of presentation. Even
though Case Western reigned supreme, all
participants benefited from this first opportunity to
argue in competition-like conditions.
austrian supreme court

One challenging pre-moot for the Vienna team was an invitation only pre-moot at the Austrian Supreme Court
in Vienna. Though this pre-moot was much smaller than the Belgrade pre-moot, the competition was fierce. Before
arguments began, the teams were given a tour of the Austrian Supreme Court. The building was simply magnificent,
with its sweeping central staircase and high ceilings. It made me a little bit nervous to argue in such a grand building.

Loyola had the opportunity to argue against the University of Munich in one of the Austrian Supreme Court hearing
rooms. It was clear from the start that we were at an advanced stage of practicing our pleadings. The arbitrators were
beyond asking surface level questions and immediately started with in-depth and difficult questions. The arbitrators
were ready to push back on both teams about their arguments and answers to questions. They were also incredibly
knowledgeable about the problem, citing to pages and paragraphs within the record. It was a great example of what
the competition would be like in Vienna.

I thought I had seen and heard it all by the time Loyola had gotten to the Austrian Supreme Court pre-moot, but there
was one curveball. My issue was whether one of the three sitting arbitrators was sufficiently impartial to oversee the
proceedings. During my pleading, the panel asked me to stop my argument, prompted the challenged arbitrator to
leave the area, and the two remaining arbitrators proceeded to rule on whether the challenged arbitrator should remain
on the tribunal. I definitely did not see that coming, but I was so thankful it had happened before the actual competition
so I knew how to handle it going forward.

Loyola faced an incredibly good team during this pre-moot, and though the pleadings were challenging it helped us be
better prepared for future arguments. Even though we only had one argument at the Austrian Supreme Court, it was a
vital one before the actual competition began. These pleadings allowed our team to think about questions and issues
that arbitrators presented and how to address problems when they arise. It definitely helped our team be better
prepared for the actual competition in Vienna. I can easily say that arguing at the Austrian Supreme Court with
my team was one of the best experiences of not only the trip, but of my life.
P R E - M O O T


On our wonderful European excursion, we had the

opportunity to go to a pre-moot in Zagreb, Croatia.
The pre-moot took place after the Belgrade pre-
moot. which was much larger than the Zagreb pre-
moot and was our first experience competing
against civil law teams. Zagreb provided a much
smaller pre-moot, about ten teams in total. We
were able to hone in on what we had learned at the
Belgrade pre-moot as well as hear regular
feedback from reoccurring judges.

Not only did Zagreb provide an environment

where we could reflect on our past arguments and
improve our future arguments, but it also
provided an environment where we were able to
form friendships with the other teams. The Loyola
Team formed a close friendship with the Zagreb
team. We were able to share war stories of all the
time we spent researching our arguments and
laugh at the jokes we had made around the

Our most interesting conversations, however,

stemmed from learning about Croatian history
and culture, conversations I know we will not
forget. The Zagreb team also took us on a tour of
the city to show us not only the sights of the city
but also the government buildings within the
capital city, such as the High Court. The Zagreb
team advanced this year into the final round of 32;
it was nice to have a team to cheer for through the
competition! We all loved our time in Croatia and
are all looking forward to catching up with our
new friends post-moot.
Presenting at the International Chamber of Commerce
Abdulghani Mouneimne

The Vis Moot provides students an opportunity not only to participate in the competition but to connect with
students and international practitioners from around the world. Thousands of people travel to Vienna for the Vis
Moot Competition, whether to participate, arbitrate, or simply attend the various international arbitration
conferences that are scheduled to coincide with the Vis.

The Competition is, of course, the main event but students should not overlook the opportunity to hear from
arbitrators, network with practitioners, and learn more about international arbitration practice at these
conferences. Many of the conference organizers encourage students to attend, generally to indulge in our own
Vis experience and to feel closer to their own. Moreover, they want students to attend these conferences
because they appreciate that we have been working on the Vis problem for several months and, in some cases,
have become experts in a specific area of international arbitration law.

I personally was interested in attending several conferences and, with permission from the coaches, even
participated as a panelist at one conference. The panel was hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce
at their Young Arbitrators Forum and was titled, “A Call for Ideas.” I submitted an article proposing the creation
of a secretary pipeline program to increase diversity among the field of international arbitrators and was
pleasantly surprised when I got an e-mail informing me I’d been selected to present my proposal.

The Vis provides students a once-in-a-lifetime experience and, for many people, opens the door to future
opportunities in international practice. It’s more than just a competition, but a gathering of people from around
the world with an interest in international practice. Students are invariably welcomed with open arms.  
Belgrade was our team´s first stop in Europe on our road to the
final competition in Vienna. After weeks of practice we had
eventually started the final spurt. Belgrade was only our second
time competing against teams from other universities after our very
own pre-moot at Loyola in January. The pre-moot in Belgrade

hosted 85 different teams from 35 different countries. We had the
opportunity to argue against teams from Spain, Germany, Austria,
Turkey and the local heroes from the University of Belgrade,
Serbia. We got a first taste of what to expect in the actual
competition in Vienna.

One thing I learned early after our arrival in Belgrade was that the
Vis Moot is about more than just the competition and arguing
against teams from all over the world. It is about more than
practicing and sharpening students' oral argument skills.

It is also about more than by: linus boberg

studying the process of
arbitration and the CISG. A very big part of the competition,
probably the most important part,
is the community that is built
through the Vis Moot.

It is an amazing opportunity to
get to know people from all over
the world and Belgrade was the
first opportunity. We had tough
panels to handle, lots of difficult
questions to answer and even a
lot more feedback to receive
and incorporate. Even though it
was rough sometimes, and it felt
like it was too much, I forgot
about all this when I met people
from other teams and I finally
was able to start discussing the
questions asked by arbitrator X
or Y and how to answer the
particular question. Sometimes
it just helped to be able to
complain together. All in all,
Belgrade was good preparation
for the final competition in
Vienna. It helped improve both
substance and presentation of
our arguments and
strengthened our team spirit.
by: hillary maynard

hong kong
hong kong
Following the Pre-Moot in Shanghai, coming in seventh place

overall out of thirty-two teams, we began our journey to Hong

Kong. As we sat on the plane, we found ourselves excited to

explore Hong Kong, but nervous for what was to come in the Vis

East Competition. After having practiced dozens of times

leading up to our journey in China, we continued to review our

research and read the Problem for new information that

might improve and support our arguments.

After arriving at Hong Kong International Airport and boarding

the train to Kowloon, the area where we were staying, we

were delighted by the beauty of the city. Not only did we

admire Victoria Bay, we were captivated by the beautiful skyline

of Hong Kong Island. Even better, we were able to spend our

first day in Hong Kong exploring the city and all it has to offer.

Following our day of exploring, we were ready for the main

event of the program – the Vis East. We had met several of the

teams competing in the Vis East at the Shanghai Pre-Moot, and

it was comforting to see some familiar faces as we registered

at the Vis Centre. Soon after registration, we met the University

of Munich, with whom we scheduled a joint practice. Ala and

Gabby argued against two members of the Munich team, while

our coaches and Emily and I prepared notes and comments

regarding our teammates’ performances. Practices with other

teams, particularly non-American teams with different outlooks

and research on the Problem, was extremely beneficial in

strengthening our arguments and improving our overall


The general rounds of competition consisted of four arguments

for Loyola – two arguments per partner team. While nerve

racking, it was a unique and incredible experience to arbitrate

with fellow law students from across the globe. We encountered

some tough competition and challenging arbitrators, again from

across the globe, but stepped up to the challenge and argued

our best. Often times competition involved switching from

Respondent to Claimant within 24 hours or, in some cases,

arguing twice in one day. However, through hard work and

support from our fellow team members and coaches, we


While arguments, joint practices, and Vis events kept us busy

throughout our time in Hong Kong, we made sure to take time

for ourselves and continue to explore the city with team

members from other schools. We were afforded a chance to

meet new friends from all over the globe, all the while

experiencing a unique culture. This trip was truly a once-in-a-

lifetime experience, of which I have gained ever-lasting

friendships and skills that will prove useful in my future career as

an attorney and advocate. Loyola’s participation in the Vis East

was only possible due to our supporters, and for this we thank

Amid the stress and fast-pace of competing in Vis, I found respite in the local Muslim communities. I learned that many
of the first Muslims in Hong Kong were of Indian origin who served as soldiers in the British military under Britain's
roughly 300 year colonization of the Indian subcontinent. Since then, the community in Hong Kong has grown to roughly
300,000, many of whom are of mixed Chinese and South Asian races. Five mosques are scattered across the island and
Kowloon, and 29 Islamic schools have opened within the past 7 years.

In comparison to mainland China, practicing Islam in Hong Kong is far more protected and respected. I had the pleasure
of meeting the inaugural Vis Moot team from Myanmar/Burma and learned more about their perspectives of persecution
of Rohingya Muslims and China's role in deterring the violence from Aung San Suu Kyi's government. The voice of the
Muslim community becomes more integral and inherently part of the region's political calculus as time progresses.


Upon landing in Hong Kong, it became In the heart of Kowloon's shopping Kowloon's mosque abuts the Kowloon
immediately apparent that its diversity district is a stately white edifice with City Park, teeming with water pools,
would lend itself to excellent food. In minarets on all corners, shaded by palm shrub mazes, and intercultural groups
light of its open immigration policies, trees- a beaming oasis amid the doing Tai Chi at all times of the day!
Hong Kong welcomes Muslims from otherwise bustling streets. Shortly after The central geographic positioning
around the world and houses large the pre-sunrise prayers, I would walk to the mosque is a testament to the
communities from Southeast Asia and the Kowloon mosque to reflect, gather integration of Muslims amid the
the Middle East. The open air Turkish my thoughts, and be surrounded by the broader non-Muslim community-
restaurant on the footsteps of Hotel Muslims of Hong Kong! seamless, friendly, and respectful.
Panorama is worth the trip! 

Cara A. Boyle, an alumna of Loyola and a member of the Hanh Diep Meyers, an alumna of Loyola, has contributed to
second Loyola Vis Moot team to participate in Vienna, has the program in memory of her husband, John Meyers. Both
consistently contributed to Loyola’s Vis Moot program Hanh and John were members of Loyola’s Vienna Vis Moot
since her graduation. teams.

Karen and John Calhoun, Esq., whose son Michael is an Carol and Terry Moritz, Esq., have generously supported the
alumnus of Loyola, have contributed generously for many Vis Moot program for a number of years. Terry is an alumnus
years. John is also a coach of the Hong Kong team and a of Loyola with more than 35 years of experience in the ADR
dedicated and invaluable supporter of Loyola’s Vis Moot setting, and is currently teaching an arbitration course at
program. Loyola.

The Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association Professor Margaret L. Moses, contributes the royalties from
(CIDRA), headed by Peter Baugher, Esq., and the Chicago her book on arbitration – The Principles and Practice of
Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, headed International Commercial Arbitration, 3rd edition, published
by Terry Moritz, Esq., helped support the Pre-Moot at by Cambridge University Press.
Loyola in February both by providing a financial
contribution and by providing experienced arbitrators to Freddi L. Greenberg, Esq., an alumna of Loyola, has
serve on tribunals for our student advocates. generously supported the Vis Moot program for many years.
She has a boutique energy practice in Evanston, Illinois,
Ellie Carey, an alumna of Loyola, was a member of Loyola’s founded in 1983, which focuses on the electric and natural
first Vis Moot team and has consistently supported the gas industries with a special focus on renewable energy. 
program. Ellie practices commercial litigation and was
named numerous times by Leading Lawyers as an
Emerging Lawyer.
The Loyola Vis Moot teams would also like to thank the following friends and alumni of Loyola for their
financial support of the Vis Moot Program:
David Barrett, Lydia Barrett, Michael Brandenberg, Beata Brewster, William Brewster, Paul Burmeister,
Christina Cotter, Caroline Driscoll & Samuel Barancik, Michael Eurich, William Eveland, Sean Farrell, Stephen
Fleischer, Elizabeth Hanford, Joshua Heffernan, Chantal Kazay, Elizabeth & Kevin Kearney, Gregg Killoren,
Melissa Killoren, Kelsey Leingang, Katharine & Kyle Lennox, Mitchell Marinello, Patrick McFadden, Craig
Mende, Daniel Pinkert, Geoffrey Robilotto, Jonathan Robilotto, Christina Sanfelippo, Katherine Staba, Barry
Sullivan, Maria Vertuno, Kristen & Michael Viglione, Susan Walker, Erin Wenger, and Robert Young.

We could not have been competition-ready without the help of the following members of the Loyola
community who donated their time and resources to help us prepare for Vienna and Hong Kong. Thank
you all for serving as guest arbitrators during practices and/or at the Loyola Pre-Moot:

Melissa King, John Morrison, Meloni Benedetta, Ebony Smith, James Reiman, Lawrence Kent, Teresa
Dettloff, James Cummings, David Yoshimura, Peter Baugher, Diana Chen, Michael Brandenberg, Moody
Maureen, Grace Ha, Chelsie Nelson, James Kearney, Job Gilbert, Leslie Rieckenberg, Bill Davis, Jonathan
Michalczyk, Kristen Hudson, Dan Saeedi, Jay Schleppenbach, Adi Altshuler, Justin Long, Nancy Younan,
Michelle Saney, Andrew Meerwarth, Lara Thiele, Rae Kyritsi, Patrick McFadden, Joshua Heffernan, Elisabeth
Hanford, Dagny Broome, John Calhoun, Margaret Moses, Kathryn Mercer, Timothy Webster, John B. Pinney,
Steven McDevitt, Ron Brand, Harry Flechtner, Elizabeth Taylor, Chad Arnesen, Michael Hagley, and Ann

The Loyola Pre-Moot would not have been possible without Melissa Bocker Ellis, a former member of the
Hong Kong Team, who worked tirelessly to ensure the Pre-Moot was successful and beneficial for all

We would also like to thank our tutors Payal Patel, Lisa Besendorfer, and Stephen Fleischer, who helped
organize the Loyola Pre-Moot and guided us throughout the year.

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