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UGA WINS TOP ORALIST HONORS AND REACHES NATIONAL FINALS OF JESSUP INTERNATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION

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Monday, April 9, 2001

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

CONTACT: Kellie R. Casey, (706) 542-2739

UGA WINS TOP ORALIST HONORS AND REACHES NATIONAL FINALS OF JESSUP INTERNATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law reached the national finals of the 42nd annual Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition April 1-7 in Washington, D.C., and three of its team members were honored among the top 10 oralists in the world competition. Team member James R. "Rob" McNiff was named as the tournament's overall best oralist, Daniel C. "Clint" Pridgen was chosen as the fifth best oralist in the tournament, and Megan K. Watkins was honored as ninth best oralist.

A total of 69 regional and national champions from 58 countries competed in the finals of the prestigious competition. The University of Georgia was one of four U.S. teams to reach the Round of Sixteen - the top performers from the tournament's preliminary rounds; other teams included Georgetown, Virginia and Columbia. These four vied for the national title, with the winner progressing to the semifinals of the world competition. UGA defeated Georgetown in the semifinal round, but lost to Virginia in the national finals. The individual honors were presented during the concluding awards ceremony on April 7.

"I have never seen four people work so hard in my life," said Advocacy Director Kellie Casey. "I couldn't be more proud of all the accomplishments they achieved. To make it to the national championship of such a prestigious competition is a great feat in itself, and no other university had more than one oralist in the top 10; we had three, and I strongly suspect that when the names of the top 20 oralists are posted on the Internet, we'll see all four of our competitors listed. That's phenomenal."

UGA's other team member was Claudia P. Campo. All four team members are second-year students at UGA. They argued a hypothetical case involving a water boundary dispute between two nations and the legality under international law of a seabed mining facility operated by one of the countries. Third-year student Anne Allen Westbrook served as student coach. Former Jessup world championship team member Myra K. Creighton, now partner at the Atlanta law firm of Fisher & Phillips, acted as team advisor and coach.

In 1996 and 1994, UGA won the national championship and reached the Final Four of the Jessup tournament's international rounds; UGA also won the national title in 1991, and both the national and international titles in 1990.

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