2024 Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy Employee Benefits Moot Court Competition

Sponsored by the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Inc. (ACEBC®) and The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, this competition will feature teams from across the country facing off in Washington, D.C. for $4,500 in prizes on March 1-2, 2024.

Named in memory of Nell Hennessey—a fearless advocate for the rights of employee benefit plan participants and retirees—this unique competition promotes and recognizes the finest oral and written advocacy on critical issues in employee benefits appellate litigation.

Eligibility & Rules

This competition is limited to 28 two-person teams from U.S.-based law schools, with a maximum of two teams per school.

Location & Timing

The event will take place at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law on March 1-2, 2024.

Cost & Registration

Registration closes when the 28-team limit is reached. The cost is $400 per team. Fee waiver information is available on request.


The following cash prizes will be awarded:

  1. First-Place Team
  2. Second-Place Team
  3. Third-Place Teams
    $500 each
  4. Best Oralist
  5. Best Brief

*Plus an all-expenses-paid trip to the ACEBC® annual black-tie gala awards dinner for the award presentation.

Pictured: 2022 Winners Theresa Trenholm and Madeline Coles of the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV


Briefs will be judged by ACEBC® Fellows. Preliminary oral argument rounds will be judged by ACEBC® Fellows and other employee benefit experts. Quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be judged by a wide range of prominent legal minds. And the 6-member final round panel will be:

Hon. Patricia A. Millett

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Phyllis Borzi

Former Assistant Sec. of the Employee Benefits Security Administration

Raja Krishnamoorthi

United States Representative for Illinois’s 8th Congressional District

J. Mark Iwry

Former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury

Hon. Joshua D. Wolson

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Tom Reeder

Former Director for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

2024 Competition Materials

Individual briefs will be linked below shortly after the submission deadline.

Submitted Appellant Briefs

Submitted Appellee Briefs

Event Contacts

This year’s competition is co-chaired by ACEBC® fellows Peter Stris and Tess Gee.

Peter Stris

Program Co-Chair
Partner, Stris & Maher LLP

Mr. Stris is a veteran appellate practitioner with a leading employee benefits practice. Chambers USA ranks him Band 1 for plaintiff-side ERISA litigation. The National Law Journal has repeatedly named him to its prestigious Appellate Hot List. And Reuters has recognized him as one of the nation’s most influential lawyers before the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has argued 10 cases. 

Theresa (Tess) S. Gee

Program Co-Chair
Partner, Miller & Chevalier Chartered

Ms. Gee represents clients in matters related to employee benefits and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including in the U.S. Supreme Court and Circuit Courts of Appeal. She also served as Deputy Associate Solicitor in the U.S. Department of Labor Solicitor’s Office responsible for ERISA enforcement.

Financial Supporters

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact ACEBC® Vice President Frank Palmieri at fpalmieri@p-ebenefitslaw.com.

Presenting Sponsors

$5,000 Donation

Stris & Maher LLP

Saturday Award Ceremony Sponsor

$1,500 Donation

Miller & Chevalier Chartered

First-Place Team Sponsor

$1,500 Donation

Douglas M. Selwyn

Best Oralist & Brief Sponsor

$1,000 Donation

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Bronze Sponsor

$500 Donation

Practising Law Institute