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UGA SCHOOL OF LAW WINS SPONG INVITATIONAL MOOT COURT TOURNAMENT

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Wednesday, February 26, 1997

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Richard Ford, (706) 542-5123

UGA SCHOOL OF LAW WINS SPONG INVITATIONAL MOOT COURT TOURNAMENT

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia School of Law won the championship and best brief award in the 26th Annual William B. Spong Invitational at the College of William and Mary over the weekend, the second time UGA has won that selective tournament in four years.

A total of 24 teams were invited to compete in the tournament. UGA posted a perfect 5-0 record in the competition, defeating South Texas in the finals; Loyola of New Orleans in the semifinals; another South Texas team in the quarterfinals; and Northern Kentucky and DePaul in the preliminary rounds.

UGA was represented by a team of second-year law students: John Haldi, Jim Hollis, and Tom Shanahan. Third-year student Clint Crosby served as their coach.

"The Spong Competition is one of the most competitive invitational tournaments in the country," said moot court advisor Richard Ford. "To win the championship and best brief in this tournament is an outstanding achievement for the students and the law school, as well."

Students argued a constitutional law case involving a hypothetical First Amendment challenge to a statute which provided that under certain circumstances, state employees who declared their homosexuality could be fired.

UGA won its first Spong championship in 1994, won best brief and reached the final four in 1995, and won best oralist and reached the quarterfinals in 1996.

The law school's moot court program is enjoying one of its most impressive seasons to date. In January, UGA claimed its second national championship of the 1990s in the prestigious National Moot Court Competition. Last week, UGA won best brief and reached the semifinals of the regional Jessup International Law Tournament. Earlier in the season, a team of third-year students brought home the tenth consecutive trophy in the annual Hulsey-Kimbrell Competition against the University of Florida.

UGA teams will compete in three remaining competitions in March: the Intrastate Tournament, the ABA Tournament, and the Vanderbilt First Amendment Competition.

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