UGA School of Law wins national advocacy competition, finishes as semi-finalists in two other tournaments


Monday, March 13, 2006

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Kellie Casey Monk, 706/542-2739, krcasey@uga.edu

UGA School of Law wins national advocacy competition, finishes as semi-finalists in two other tournaments

ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law won the 16th Annual National First Amendment Moot Court Competition beating 40 other teams from law schools across the nation. Third-year students Michael A. Caplan and Warren J. Geller composed the winning team, which triumphed over the University of California at Davis to capture the title.

Advocacy Director Kellie Casey Monk said she was especially pleased with the pair's performance. "This tournament is always filled with extremely tough advocates. Unlike other moot court competitions, the written brief counts as 50 percent of the total score, which demonstrates what a terrific job Mike and Warren did on both the oral and written components."

Georgia Law last won the national title in this competition in 1997 and finished as finalists in 2004 and 2001.

Regarding the win, Caplan said it would undoubtedly be one of the highlights of his legal education. Geller stated that arguing in front of such a distinguished panel of federal judges during the competition made him feel less like a law student and more like a real lawyer. "It marks the beginning of what I hope [will] be a long and rewarding legal career," he said.

Additionally, Georgia Law finished as semi-finalists in the regional tournaments of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) Student Trial Advocacy Competition.

Third-year students C. Brock Brockington, Jody C. Campbell, Mary Rae Phelps and Veronica L. Richardson argued in the ATLA tournament, while second-year students Guy Milhalter, E. Allyn Rubright, Gregory G. Schlich and Todd P. Swanson represented Georgia Law at the Jessup competition.

Monk said both the ATLA and Jessup teams had good performances overcoming teams from Emory, North Carolina Central University and the University of South Carolina as well as from Wake Forest, Florida State, the University of Miami and St. Thomas, respectively. "Unfortunately, they just did not fare as well in the final rounds of each tournament," she said.