UGA Wins National Moot Court Competition



UGA Wins National Moot Court Competition

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia School of Law won the 47th Annual National Moot Court Competition January 30 in New York City, the second time UGA has claimed the prestigious national championship in the 1990s.

UGA also won the national title in 1992, reached the semifinals in 1994, and placed second in the competition last year. The University of Georgia holds the record as the only law school in the nation to have reached the quarterfinals of the national competition for seven consecutive years.

Third-year teammates Chandler Mason, Tom Mew, and Kerry Harike earned eight trophies from the competition, including individual honors for Mason as Best Oralist and Mew as Runner-up Best Oralist in the final round.

The UGA students defeated Texas Tech in the finals after victories over South Texas in the semifinals, Wake Forest in the quarterfinals, Montana in the octafinals, and Albany in the preliminary rounds. The team's only loss came in a close decision to Ohio State in the prelims.

"I'm extremely proud of the team," said moot court advisor Richard Ford. "They worked so hard and performed admirably when it mattered the most. They got better and better with each round, and presented their best argument in the national finals. It's a tribute to their poise and preparation.

"Our program is also very fortunate to have the support of committed and talented faculty members such as Faculty Advisor Rebecca White and many others who have generously shared their time to bench the various teams," Ford said. "In addition, we have been extremely fortunate to have the active support of our moot court alumni, who care a great deal for the program."

The National Competition, the oldest and most prestigious moot court tournament in the country, is sponsored by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Teams from 160 law schools entered the competition, with the top two teams from each region advancing to the nationals in New York City. UGA secured the berth in November by reaching the finals of the Southeastern Regionals and winning the Best Brief award.

Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit presided over the distinguished panel which heard final arguments in New York City. The jurists included four federal judges, three New York state judges, and the presidents of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Students argued a hypothetical appellate court case concerning the timely issue of publication of information about convicted sex offenders following their release from prison. Also addressed was an issue concerning the waiver of fees for prisoners' appeals.

"The University of Georgia enjoys a long, proud tradition of excellence in its moot court program," said Dean Ned Spurgeon, "and this latest victory attests to the continuing strength of our advocacy training. Our talented and dedicated students have set the standard of excellence in numerous state, national and international competitions, and have advanced the reputation of the law school in the process."

Not only has the University of Georgia achieved incredible success in the prestigious National Moot Court Competition, teams this decade have also won four national championships and one international title in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Intrastate teams have brought home the trophy six of the last ten years, and UGA has a ten-match winning streak over Florida in the Hulsey-Kimbrell Competition, held each fall. The ABA teams have won or been finalists in the regional tournament seven of the last eleven years, advancing to the quarterfinals of the national competition in 1995. In the select William B. Spong Invitational Moot Court Tournament at the College of William and Mary, UGA has twice won the championship (1997, 1994); won Best Brief and reached the Final Four (1995); and won Best Oralist (Chandler Mason) and reached the quarterfinals (1996). The University of Georgia also won the 1997 National First Amendment Moot Court Competition held at Vanderbilt University in its first appearance at the invitation-only tournament.