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SCHOOL OF LAW STUDENT ADVOCATES FACE IRISH BARRISTERS IN MOOT COURT COMPETITION

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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

WRITER: Kristine Fortunato 706/542-5172 CONTACT: Kellie Casey 706/542-2739, krcasey@uga.edu

SCHOOL OF LAW STUDENT ADVOCATES FACE IRISH BARRISTERS IN MOOT COURT COMPETITION

ATHENS, Ga. - The advocacy skills of University of Georgia and Irish law students were put to the test on Nov. 22, 2002, as they argued a hypothetical international adoption case. The moot court competition, the fourth held between students from the School of Law and barristers from the Honorable Society of King's Inn in Dublin, Ireland, ended in a draw.

In the case, third-year UGA law students Tiana S. Mykkeltvedt and Ryan T. Strickland argued for the applicant, the fictional country of Laurentia, whose children were adopted without parental consent by the neighboring country of Caledon following a natural disaster. Other members of the UGA team included third-year students Patrick R. Kelly and Katherine R. Lahnstein. The country of Caledon was represented by a team of four Irish barristers.

Associate Dean Paul M. Kurtz presided over the courtroom and said the competition highlighted how different styles of advocacy can be very successful in the courtroom. "The students' arguments replicated and, dare I say, exceeded the arguments in many, many courts. They were superior in every way."

Other judges on the panel included the university's Woodruff Chair in International Law Daniel M. Bodansky, Georgia Superior Court Judge Thomas D. Wilcox Jr. and Allen Wallace, judicial law clerk for Senior Federal District Judge Robert L. Vining Jr of the Northern District of Georgia.

This advocacy exchange program with the Honorable Society of King's Inn was created in 1996 and takes place every other year. The roots of King's Inn date to the 16th century and the reign of Henry VIII. To become a barrister-at-law in Ireland, a student must pass a diploma examination at the King's Inn. Therefore, all members of the Irish bar and judiciary belong to the society.

Other advocacy news includes the semifinal placement of UGA's mock trial team in the Georgetown White Collar Crime Mock Trial Competition. UGA is the only school to consistently finish this high in the competition, having made the semifinal round for three consecutive years. This year's team was comprised of third-year students Joshua B. Belinfante, Jeffrey M. Kwastel and Addie M. Smith and second-year student Meredith A. Bunn. They were coached by third-year student Nicholas G. Walter.

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