Daniel Goldfield ’24 and Anna O’Brien ’24 Win the 63rd Annual Reimel Moot Court Competition


The 63rd Annual Theodore L. Reimel ’24 CLAS Moot Court Competition concluded on Thursday, November 17, after weeks of preparation and preliminary trial rounds. Daniel Goldfield ’24 and Anna O’Brien ’24, who argued for the Respondent, were victorious.

The competition is an annual intra-school tournament and a hallowed tradition at Villanova Law. It is named in honor of the late Theodore L. Reimel, the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas judge from 1953 to 1973. The competition fosters students’ development in written and oral advocacy through simulated appellate arguments.

The issue in this year’s competition addressed the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination related to the compelled production of a password to an encrypted smartphone in a case where the Defendant was charged with plotting an act of domestic terrorism at a government building. The lawsuit also questioned whether the government must demonstrate knowledge relating solely to the password sought or if it must also prove knowledge of the contents of the encrypted device.

In an impressive final round, Goldfield and O’Brien faced Lauren Di Lella ’24 and Nicholas Ozorowski ’24, who argued for the Petitioner. Goldfield also received the award for Best Oralist. In addition, the following students received recognition for their remarkable efforts throughout the competition: Mackenzie Jeffrey ’24 and Alannah King ’24 won the award for Best Brief for the Petitioner; Catie Barry ’24 and Michaela Kelly ’24 were awarded Best Brief for Respondent; Anderson Amaya ’24 received the award for Best Preliminary Round Oralist.

The final round was presided over by The Honorable Stephanos Bibas, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; The Honorable Scott W. Reid, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and The Honorable David R. Stras, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.