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UGA LAW SCHOOL MOOT COURT TEAMS CLAIM HONORS AND COMPETE IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

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Monday, April 2, 2001

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@arches.uga.edu

CONTACT: Kellie Casey, (706) 542-2739

UGA LAW SCHOOL MOOT COURT TEAMS CLAIM HONORS AND COMPETE IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

ATHENS, Ga. -- Moot court teams from the University of Georgia School of Law brought home honors from two national competitions this weekend -- the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition and the 11th Annual Vanderbilt National First Amendment Competition -- and are now competing in the national/international rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C.

UGA's ABA team, consisting of second-year law students Drew D. Baiter, Lauren E. Sheridan and Tiffany S. Rowe, reached the quarterfinals of the ABA tournament, held March 29-31 in Chicago. Baiter was selected as the tournament's Best Oralist, and the team won Third Best Brief. The team argued the hypothetical appeal of a woman who was challenging a law prohibiting those convicted of domestic violence from carrying a firearm; her defense attorney had also slept through much of the trial, raising further questions regarding ineffective assistance of counsel. Third-year students Samuel C. Burch and Laura J. Hill coached the ABA team, and Holly A. Pierson, an attorney with the Atlanta law firm of King & Spalding and a former moot court member at UGA, served as advisor.

UGA's Vanderbilt team, consisting of third-year students Gardiner G. Thompson and Renee Y. Little, reached the finals of the national invitational, but lost to South Texas in the final round. The hypothetical case concerned the constitutionality of an after-school program administered by a church on public school grounds. The competition was held March 30-31 in Nashville.

"Each and every team has put forth 110% effort and has impressed judges and spectators at every round," said UGA's Advocacy Director Kellie Casey. "For example, in the Vanderbilt Competition, a federal judge commended Renee Little's incredible ability to recall mounds of supporting case law and cite specific pages in opinions, all from memory. Our Vanderbilt team received a standing ovation when the trophies were awarded. I know the Jessup Team is going to be equally impressive in competition this week."

UGA's Jessup Team, comprised of second-year students Claudia P. Campo, Rob R. "Rob" McNiff, Daniel C. "Clint" Pridgen and Megan K. Watkins, are competing among a total field of 69 regional champions from the United States and national champions from around the world April 2-7 in Washington, D.C. Third-year student Anne Allen Westbrook serves as student coach and former world champion team member Myra K. Creighton, now partner at the Atlanta law firm of Fisher & Phillips, acts as team advisor and coach. UGA won the national championship in the Jessup tournament and reached the Final Four of the international rounds in 1996 and 1994; UGA also won the national title in 1991, and both the national and international titles in 1990.

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