Three Cheers for Hofstra — 38th Annual Hon. Elaine Jackson Stack Moot Court Competition

March 28, 2023:

The final round of the 2023 Hon. Elaine Jackson Stack Moot Court Competition was held on March 21 in the Great Hall at Domus. Six teams from four local law schools — CUNY School of Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, St. John’s University School of Law, and Jacob D. Fuchsberg Touro College Law Center — entered this year’s competition.

Hofstra team members Carisa McKillop and Denise Trerotola won the First Place Award, prevailing over Touro team members Natalie Segev and Kira Shcherbakova. In addition, McKillop and Trerotola were recognized for their superior legal research and writing skills, with the Hofstra team also winning the Best Brief Award. To top off the evening, Hofstra’s McKillop took home the Best Oralist Award, the only award recognizing an individual’s performance in the competition.

The Best Oralist Award was presented by NCBA Legal Administrator Member Dede Unger (daughter of the late Judge Stack, for whom the competition is named), who congratulated the four finalists and all 14 competitors, saying how impressed she was with their oratory skills. She reminisced about her mother’s deep commitment to the Academy of Law’s Moot Court program, saying that to Judge Stack, “speaking was everything” and it “held tremendous weight in her courtroom.”

Unger shared some childhood memories of her mother, when she regularly reminded her children that “when you speak, you look the other person in the eye, and make sure that you can back up the point you want to make.” She concluded: “Tonight, you would have made her proud.”

The final round was held before a panel of five “Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States” comprised of the Hon. Vito M. DeStefano, Nassau County Administrative Judge (presiding as “Chief Justice”), and four “Associate Justices” including NAL Past Dean, Hon. Andrew M. Engel, Nassau County District Court; NCBA Past President and NAL Dean, Hon. Susan Katz Richman, Village Justice; NCBA President Rosalia Baiamonte of Gassman, Baiamonte Gruner, P.C.; and, NCBA Past President and NAL Past Dean Peter J. Mancuso, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney (Ret.).

Christine T. Quigley authored this year’s hypothetical problem and wrote the bench brief based on two issues derived from multiple cases recently filed, and pending certiorari, in the U.S. Supreme Court. Both issues arise from First Amendment claims made in the context of social media users and platforms alleged “censorship” practices and the constitutional limits of state laws that threaten to impose restrictions on the free speech rights of private individuals and entities. The questions presented to this court were (1) whether a public official’s use of her personal social media account constituted state action when she blocked a constituent from accessing her Facebook page; and (2) whether a state law prohibiting large social-media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) from “censoring, blocking, shadow-banning, or deplatforming” social media users is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.


The 2023 Hon. Elaine Jackson Stack Moot Court Competition was coordinated by NCBA Executive Director Elizabeth Post, former NAL Director Jennifer Groh, and NAL Advisory Board Member and Moot Court Chair, Christine T. Quigley. This would not have been possible without the invaluable assistance from dozens of volunteers, including many members of the judiciary, practicing and retired attorneys, NAL Advisory Board Members, and NCBA staff who contributed their time and efforts to make this year’s competition a success. We are extremely grateful for their participation.

A very special thank you goes out to Gary Petropoulos and the partners of Catalano, Gallardo & Petropoulos, LLP for providing us with timekeepers for the competition (again) this year! And an extra thank you to our incredibly talented and versatile timekeepers for so seamlessly acting in a dual role as bailiffs as well!


Hon. Vito M. DeStefano

Hon. Andrew M. Engel

Hon. Susan Katz Richman

Rosalia Baiamonte, Esq.

Peter J. Mancuso, Esq.


Hon. David Goodsell

Hon. William Hohauser

Kent Moston, Esq.

Scott Banks, Esq.

Michael Scotto, Esq.

Jaime D. Ezratty, Esq.


Hon. Stephen Falanga

Hon. Stephen G. Leventhal

Hon. Robert Bogle

Hon. Maxine S. Broderick

Hon. David Levine

Hon. William P. Bodkin

Ralph Catalano, Esq.

Gary Petropoulos, Esq.

Michele Levin, Esq.

Mili Makhijani, Esq.

Omid Zareh, Esq.

Bruce Robins, Esq.

Christopher Casa, Esq.

William Schleifer, Esq.

Christopher DelliCarpini, Esq.

Lauren Bristol, Esq.

Sanford Strenger, Esq.


Christine T. Quigley, Esq.


Tammy Feman, Esq.

Bruce Robins, Esq.

William Schleifer, Esq.

Michelle Russo, Esq.

Elisa Rosenthal, Esq.


Angela Crisculo

Jason Egielski

Kayla Schmidt

Ian Glick

NCBA Director of Operations

Hector Herrera