Can a foreign plaintiff sue a foreign corporation for crimes committed in a foreign land in United States courts? More than fifty second- and third-year students attempted to answer this question when they tackled this year’s Cuccia Cup problem, which was based on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., a case pending before the Supreme Court this term.
The tournament culminated on October 27 in the MacDonald Moot Court Room, with Lynne Kolodinsky ’14 and Jon Underwood ’14 representing the petitioner, Omni Oil Company, and Jonathan Goddard ‘14 and Daniel Horowitz ’14 representing the respondent, Jamie Lannister. The two finalists faced an active panel of federal judges: Hon. William A. Fletcher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Hon. Gerard E. Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Hon. Frederic L. Block ‘59 of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; and Hon. William P. Johnson of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.
After an engaging final round and lengthy deliberations, Goddard and Horowitz were proclaimed the winners. The judges also provided comments after the round, highlighting the complexity of the problem, and praising the participants’ poise and substantive knowledge. Scott Burnett ’13 and Thomas Schultz ’13 won the prize for best brief.
Finalists’ prizes for the Cuccia Cup are funded annually through endowed gifts from the late Francis P. Cuccia (LL.B. 1912), in memory of Mary Heagan Cuccia, as well as from Helen Belding Smith and the estate of Henry P. Smith III (1936). The prizes for Best Brief are funded through an endowed gift from Louis Kaiser (LL.B. 1921).
-- Hahn Liu