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Joshua Koppel L’12 wins back-to-back student writing awards

October 18, 2012

Joshua M. Koppel L’12 has won the 13th annual James William Moore Federal Practice Award, becoming the first student in the history of the LexisNexis-sponsored writing competition to win the award two years in a row.

Koppel, who is currently clerking for Judge Norma Shapiro L’51 on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said he was “delighted and surprised” to have won the award, adding, “I didn’t even know if I would be considered because I received the award last year.”

Koppel’s prize-winning article, entitled “Federal Common Law and the Courts’ Regulation of Pre-Litigation Preservation,” is scheduled for publication in the Stanford Law Journal of Complex Litigation. He wrote the paper for a seminar in Advanced Problems of Federal Procedure, taught by Professor Catherine T. Struve, emeritus Professor Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., and Judge Anthony J. Scirica of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Koppel credited the guidance he received from his professors and a collegial Law School culture that fosters faculty mentorship as crucial elements of his academic accomplishment.

“The professors have been extremely supportive of me as I have tried to get these two papers published,” he said. “Professor Struve was particularly helpful in talking about the issue [of pre-litigation preservation] with me, helping me to organize the paper, and giving feedback on what I ultimately submitted for the award. I also spoke with Professor [Stephen] Burbank about the topic and he gave feedback on a draft, as well…. I always felt that the professors [at Penn Law] were so helpful and always made time to talk with and give feedback to the students.”

The James William Moore Federal Practice Award, which comes with a $2,000 prize, recognizes the nation’s best student scholarship on federal civil practice and procedure. “For Mr. Koppel to have achieved this honor in two consecutive years is an amazing achievement,” said Mark Landis, LexisNexis legal editor for practice area content, who oversees administration of the award.

Koppel won the 2011 award for his paper “Nontransubstantivity in Discovery: Crafting Narrow Rules to Solve a Broad Problem,” which is being published in the December 2012 issue of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Koppel will clerk next year for Judge Janice Rogers Brown on the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and then plans to enter private practice. “I imagine that I may transition between private practice and government a few times throughout my career,” he said. “Eventually, I may want to teach – maybe not full time, but as an adjunct.”