Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy Employee Benefits Moot Court Competition
THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COUNSEL &
THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, COLUMBUS SCHOOL OF LAW
Are pleased to announce that
THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, COLUMBUS SCHOOL OF LAW WINS THE THIRD ANNUAL ELLEN A. (NELL) HENNESSY EMPLOYEE BENEFITS MOOT COURT COMPETITION
On Saturday, February 22, Catholic Law and the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC) hosted the Third Annual Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy Employee Benefits Competition. The competitors addressed cutting-edge employee benefit issues involving the denial of benefits under an insured ERISA welfare benefits plan based on an exclusion in the insurance policy and whether the insurer can require the claimant to go to arbitration.
The teams competed before experienced ERISA practitioners, including the former Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security of the U.S. Department of Labor (and longtime friend and colleague of Nell Hennessy (’78), Phyllis Borzi (’78); former Benefits Tax Counsel of the U.S. Department of Treasury, George Bostick; and former Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, W. Thomas Reeder, Jr. Each of the competing teams produced quality briefs and put forth excellent oral arguments; zealously advocating for their “clients” before a panel of esteemed judges.
There were seven teams competing—including two from Catholic Law. After several hard-fought rounds, Catholic’s and Kentucky’s teams squared off in the finals. At the conclusion of more than an hour of argument and intensive questioning by the panel, Catholic’s team of Peter Kim (3L) and Christina Pashaj (2L) won the competition over Kentucky’s team of Jacob Ludwig and Zachary Holt. Pashaj also won Best Oralist. The Georgetown team of Soohuen Ham and Javier Diaz won best brief. Kentucky also won best brief runner-up.
This year, Christopher Hennessy, the nephew of Nell Hennessy, attended the dinner and provided comments that gave insight into the amazing trailblazer that Nell was. Vice Chancellor Willistine Harris (4E) thanked faculty sponsor Professor Regina Jefferson, CUA Law staff members Emily Sobieski and Joe Ferraro, and members of the Moot Court Association for providing invaluable assistance during the competition.
Winners of the event were awarded a plaque as well as a monetary prize—provided by the competition sponsors, LexisNexis. Kim and Pashaj will be attending the annual ACEBC conference in Chicago (expenses paid by ACEBC).