Dustin Karrison and Alex Stephens, second-year students at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, won individual awards and finished as semifinalists in the fifth annual National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition held November 15-16, 2013 at George Washington University Law School and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Washington, D.C.
Dustin Karrison was honored as the tournament’s best oral advocate. Teammate Alex Stephens received the award for the second-best oral advocate. In its first appearance in the National Veterans Law Competition, IIT Chicago-Kent reached the tournament’s final four.
The students argued a hypothetical case, John Yossarian v. Eric K. Shineski, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
At issue was what standard of care should apply to physicians accused of medical malpractice in a veteran’s claim for disability compensation under the federal veterans’ benefits law; and whether the Code of Federal Regulations’ prohibition against compensation for disabilities arising from a failure to follow medical instructions under that law was valid.
Team member Dustin Karrison earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Illinois State University. Teammate Alex Stephens graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in economics.
“The competition’s semifinal and final rounds were held at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the judging panels comprised experienced members of the veterans’ law bar and bench,” said Professor Kent D. Streseman, director of the Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy. “Our students performed brilliantly in this environment.”
Established in 2009, the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition is the nation’s premier moot court competition focusing on veterans law. The tournament featured sixteen teams from many of the top advocacy programs in the United States. The competition is co-sponsored by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association and the George Washington University Law School Moot Court Board.