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Notre Dame College prelaw students will be discussing the legal issues of whether a mandated vaccine infringes on an individual’s 14th Amendment rights during the College’s fifth annual Constitution Night and Citizenship Day moot court demonstration.

Students on the College’s nationally recognized moot court team will advocate for both sides of the American Moot Court Association’s hypothetical appellate court case in a special campus demonstration to mark the federal occasion. The main precedent is a 1905 court case from the State of Massachusetts mandating smallpox vaccinations.

The event takes place on Monday, October 25, at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the ground floor of the College’s Administration Building. It is free and open to the public.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution. Since 2004, all institutions that receive federal funding have been required to provide educational programming related to the history of the U.S. Constitution on or around the day.

The moot court team members will present arguments in front of a panel of distinguished judges led by Geoff Ritts, J.D., senior partner at Jones Day. Ritts is recognized by the American Bar Association as one of the outstanding litigators in the United States. He is known for his work representing KeyCorp in a multi-district litigation relating to the Bernard Madoff scandal and serves as co-chair of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

This year the panel also will feature three notable Notre Dame alumni, all at different points in their legal careers:

  • Spencer E. Krebs, J.D., an associate attorney with Cavitch Familo & Durkinwho in Cleveland who has worked with the U.S. Army JAG Corps;
  • Cassidy Galbreath, a 2022 graduate of the Ohio Northern University Pettit School of Law who is studying for the Ohio Bar Exam and previously served as a law clerk with the Ohio Supreme Court; and
  • Athena Eli, a second-year law school student who is currently serving as a law clerk with the United States’ Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

All four have participated in moot court at the College. Krebs has served as a judge for ACMA national competitions, while Galbreath and Eli both previously presented on Constitution Night at the College.

The alums and Ritts will be available at an invitation-only reception prior to the demonstration to talk with Notre Dame moot court students.

About Spencer E. Krebs

Krebs joined the law firm of Cavitch Familo & Durkin in March 2018 as an associate attorney. He is a member of the litigation group and focuses his practice in the areas of employment and labor litigation, business litigation, and general civil litigation.

Krebs earned his Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. As a law student, he worked in the Homelessness Prevention Clinic, where he represented low-income tenants facing possible evictions, habitability problems and rent increases. During that time, he served as a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio; U.S. Army JAG Corps.; the Law Offices of Michael A. Demayo; and various other law firms in Cleveland.

In addition to these professional positions, Krebs served as president of the Student Bar Association and was a member of the moot court team at Case Western Reserve.

He earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice/political science in 2013 from Notre Dame. In addition to participating in moot court, Krebs was the captain of the varsity football team and community service chair for the student government association at Notre Dame. He volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Victory Center for Youth and was a mentor at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Cleveland, all while a student at the College.

About Cassidy Galbreath

Galbreath recently graduated cum laude from the Pettit School of Law at Ohio Northern. She was ranked among the top 10 in her class during her first year of law school.

Galbreath served as the article-research editor for the Pettit School’s Law Review and has worked with the Tuscarawas Court of Common Pleas, general trial division. She also served as a law clerk with the Ohio Supreme Court. Her specialty is family law.

She graduated as an Honor’s Scholar with a degree in history in 2019. At Notre Dame, Galbreath was the first student to graduate through the College’s 3+3 law program and will be the first to earn the Juris Doctor through the articulation agreement.

About Athena Eli

Eli is a second-year law student earning her Juris Doctor from the Pettit School. She presently is serving as a judicial law clerk with the United States Attorney’s Office and previously served as a law clerk with the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals. She has been offered an internship in immigration law in Washington, D.C.

A three-time finalist in the ACMA Midwest Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament, Eli was named outstanding litigator during her first year at Ohio Northern. At the Pettit School, she served as a LexisNexis associate and has been recognized with a Diversity and Leadership Fellowship from the Law and Leadership Institute. She was named Outstanding Litigator during her first year in law school.

She graduated from Notre Dame with a double major in criminal justice and political science in 2020.

About Moot Court

Established in 2011, Notre Dame’s co-curricular prelaw moot court program has qualified for national competitions in six of its first eight years of existence. The team competes in multiple scrimmages and qualifying tournaments throughout the country each fall.

Moot court is a method of teaching law and legal skills by requiring students to analyze and argue both sides of a hypothetical legal issue using state and federal appellate court procedures.

October 2021

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.