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Jon Caulder ’15L Wins ABA Antitrust Writing Competition

Jon Caulder, a third-year law student at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has won the 2015 ABA Section of Antitrust Law Student Writing Competition.

Caulder received the award for his Note, “Avoiding the Nuclear Option: Balancing Borrower and Lender Rights Under the Truth in Lending Act’s Right of Rescission,” which was published in the Washington and Lee Law Review. The Note examines the recent circuit court split regarding how borrowers can validly exercise their right of rescission under the Truth in Lending Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled in January 2015 on the very issue analyzed in Caulder’s Note in the case Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Caulder attended the oral arguments for the case at the U.S. Supreme Court in November with his Appellate Advocacy Practicum, taught by Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons. Following the oral arguments, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito spoke with the class and, upon learning about Caulder’s Note, asked to read it.

“The fact that Justice Alito wanted to read Jon’s Note is a testament to the importance and timeliness of his topic,” says W&L law professor Victoria Shannon, who served as Caulder’s Note Advisor. “It was my absolute privilege and pleasure to advise Jon’s Note.”

Caulder previously wrote about his research and his experience in the Appellate Advocacy Practicum for the W&L law school blog in a piece titled “Turning Scholarship into Practice.”

“Researching and drafting this Note was a long and tedious process. To write it, have it published, observe oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, and now to receive this award is a humbling honor,” said Caulder. “I would like to thank Professor Shannon and the Law Review Editorial Board for their invaluable input in shaping this Note. This has truly been a rewarding experience.”

For winning the writing competition, Caulder will receive a $2,500 cash prize at the Antitrust Section’s annual meeting in D.C. in April. In addition, his Note will be published in an upcoming issue of “Antitrust Source.”

Caulder serves as the Managing Editor of the W&L Law Review. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with High Distinction. During his time between undergraduate and law school, Caulder worked as a Teach for America corps member in Eastern North Carolina where he taught sixth grade math. After graduation, Caulder will join the Energy and Environmental Litigation practice group at Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond, Virginia.