International Tax Moot Court Team

International Tax Moot Court Team

Each year, up to four students may participate in the International Tax Practicum, a yearlong skills course that uses a mock tax treaty litigation as a lens for studying issues in international tax law. As part of this course, students compete in the International and European Moot Court Competition with teams from all over the world. Students learn to identify legal issues raised by a fact pattern, and draft briefs for both the government and taxpayer on the issues raised by the moot. If the UVA team’s briefs are strong enough, the team travels to Belgium to compete in the oral phase of the competition against teams from other schools. The weeklong competition features lectures by prominent tax professors and judges as well as a trip to the European Union’s Commission in Brussels.

The UVA Law team began competing in 2017, and it has won or placed at the competition several times. In 2018, UVA’s team became the first U.S. team to win the competition. In its fifth competition, in 2021, the UVA Law team placed third during an online competition.

Admission to this course is by application in the spring semester. Professor Ruth Mason is the faculty adviser. More

The Teams

2020-21 Moot Court Team(Clockwise from top left) Bethany Labrinos ’21, Killian Wyatt ’21, Bolton Smith ’22, student coach Ian Macdonald ’21 and Zeke Rosenberg ’21 won third place in this year’s International and European Tax Moot Court Competition. (Story)

“There are not many opportunities in law school to compete internationally against some of the best teams in the world on an extremely challenging topic. I grew a lot from the experience, and I know I will be a better litigator because of it.”

—BETHANY LABRINOS ’21, 2020-21 Team

Michael Olson ’20, Eleanor Schmalzl ’20, student coach Griffin Peeples ’20, Ian Macdonald ’21 and Allen Braddock ’20Professor Ruth Mason served as faculty adviser for the International and European Tax Moot Court 2019-20 championship team, which comprised Michael Olson ’20, Eleanor Schmalzl ’20, student coach Griffin Peeples ’20, Ian Macdonald ’21 and Allen Braddock ’20. UVA was named best pleading team and won best defendant’s oral pleading. Macdonald and Olson were named best individual oralists for the defendant, which is usually awarded to only one person. (Story)

“The opportunity to represent UVA Law and the United States against some of the top schools in the world was a great honor.”

—IAN MACDONALD ’21, 2019-20 Team

Griffin Peeples ’20, David Rubin ’19, Elizabeth Donald ’19, Benjamin Kramer ’19 and Colin Giuseppe Cox ’19Griffin Peeples ’20, David Rubin ’19, Elizabeth Donald ’19, Benjamin Kramer ’19 and Colin Giuseppe Cox ’19 comprised the 2019 team that won the competition, with Peeples being named named best oralist and best individual advocate for the taxpayer’s side. (Story)

“Despite being very busy preparing and delivering our arguments, we managed to make friends with teams from across Europe. We exchanged ideas about how our disparate legal systems operate and how our legal educations systems differ.”

BENJAMIN KRAMER ’19, 2018-19 Team

Tax team arguesThe first U.S. team to win the International and European Tax Moot Court competition included UVA Law students Christina McLeod, Phil Ogea, David Rubin and Julia Wynn, with student Brandon Dubov serving as team coach. Above, the competition in action with the UVA team on the left. (Story)

“I found the rebuttal and surrebuttal parts of the arguments incredibly exciting. I realized just how much I had learned when I could quickly respond to the challenges raised by the other side and bolster my position in the process.”

—CHRISTINA McLEOD ’18, 2017-18 Team

Tax moot team Amanda Leon, William McManus, David Maranjian, Jonathon Wilson and Eleanor Moran placed fourth in the 2017 International Tax Moot Court competition. Leon and Wilson were named Best Oral Team for the Defendant, and Wilson was named Best Individual Defendant. (Story)

"Preparing the brief, while difficult and touching on many subjects I was unfamiliar with, was extremely gratifying. It brought together all of my law school education and gave me a single capstone experience to be proud of."

—JON WILSON ’17, 2016-17 Team