Last week at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria, A Florida Coastal School of Law team advanced to the second stage of the championship rounds in oral arguments, ranking them between 17th and 32nd in the world.
Having first attended preliminary events in Gainesville, Athens (Georgia), and Miami, team members Lindsay Brye, Julia Grachova, Will Grimsley, Kirsten Kilmer, and Gina Peretti traveled to the Vienna event to compete with 252 law schools from 62 countries. In four days of preliminary rounds, Florida Coastal faced teams from China, France, Poland, and Russia and then advanced to the championship rounds, a first for our school.
In the first championship round, the pair of Will Grimsley and Gina Peretti, pleading for the respondent, defeated the University of Belgrade by unanimous decision to advance the team to the round of 32 (comprising only 12.5 % of the participating teams).In the second championship round, Florida Coastal was in the company of only seven of the more than 50 U.S. teams in the competition—ahead of schools such as Yale, Penn, Cornell, and the other five Florida teams participating in the “Vis Moot.” The team was coached by Professor Latham, who also served as an arbitrator at the event in Vienna.
In addition to the approximately 2,000 students, the eight days of the Vis Moot were attended by approximately 700 practitioner and academic leaders in the law and practice of international sales and trade, general international commerce and business, and international commercial arbitration, who participated in the seven legal conferences, various organizational meetings, or numerous actual private international arbitrations conducted in Vienna last week in addition to the Vis Moot arguments. The team’s accomplishment is particularly significant for the reputation of Florida Coastal because, with the Vis Moot now in its 18th year, students who have participated with distinction now hold leadership positions in public and private legal and academic institutions in areas of international commercial law and dispute resolution throughout the world, as well as at major international litigation and arbitration firms.