April 17, 2009

Full results for Jessup international rounds posted

Here are the results of the international rounds of the 50th Annual Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, which took place in Washington, D.C. March 22-28. American law schools didn't give a particularly great showing; only Columbia Law School made it as far as the octafinals before losing to Universidad Catolica Andres Bello from Venezuela.

But there was one bright spot for the U.S.: Suyash Paliwal of Columbia won Best Oralist of the Preliminary Rounds.

Although I have results from some of the the six U.S. Super Regional rounds, I don't have them all. If I'm able to collect complete information, I'll post here...

April 14, 2009

Full NAAC results up

The ABA has posted complete results of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition, so now you may finally quench your thirst for knowledge as to who was the seventh-best advocate at the St. Louis regional (if you must know, it was Clayton Rushing Tartt of Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, who happened to knock my team out in the national quarterfinals).

The national results made a bit more sense this year than last, although it's worth noting that the National Best Advocate (Bridget Burke of South Texas College of Law, who won with an astounding 97 speaker average) didn't even place in the top 10 of advocates at her Washington, D.C. regional. Otherwise, however, the second-through-fifth-place National Best Advocates all won speaker awards at their respective regionals. And my team's National Best Brief had placed third in its region, while the top two briefs in that region didn't make the trip to Chicago.

As I expected, the competition was incredibly well run, both regionally (we were in Miami) and nationally. The new rule change -- which provides that elimination rounds are decided by the team that wins a majority of ballots (as opposed to which team scored more points) -- actually cost my team: In the quarterfinal round against Faulkner, we won by a total of two points but lost the ballot count 2-1. I supported and still do support the new rule, but it makes losing a bit harder to swallow...

And the level of competition, I must say, was higher than I've ever seen it. Having two teams there, I was able to see parts of four preliminary rounds and two break rounds. I can truthfully say that every team we faced had the ability to win it all, and the margins of victory/defeat were razor thin. Which is how it should be, of course. But it reaffirms my belief -- particularly after taking a team to the Gibbons competition the week before and seeing eventual champion Albany argue -- that schools send their very best teams to the NAAC and National Moot Court Competition, and winning either of those two tournaments is far more difficult than winning one of the 60-or-so other competitions that take place over the course of the year.

One last thing: If you have any suggestions as to rule changes for the NAAC, this would be a good place to discuss them (some of the NAAC subcommittee members told me they're readers).

Here's one to get the ball rolling: Instead of holding a coin flip to decide which team chooses its side in the break rounds, why not simply allow the higher-seeded team to select its side? Because here's the problem: Given the elimination of the brief score from the break rounds, having a higher seed at NAAC carries no real advantage. My team was the #1 seed coming out of the preliminary rounds, but that was only so because our brief score was monstrous. We lost to #9 Faulkner -- an awesome team orally -- in the quarters. Eventual champion South Texas was the #15 seed. Last year, the final round match up was #5 Harvard Law School against #7 University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. The purpose of seeding is (or at least should be) to protect the higher-ranked teams. As it's currently set up, the higher seeds have zero advantage, and there's no incentive to capture a top seed -- it means absolutely nothing.

Incidentally, my proposal would not have made a difference for my team at NAAC -- we actually won both our coin flips and chose the side we wanted. But it just strikes me as odd that the only real advantage for the higher seed is the ability to "call" the coin flip, which, of course, isn't an advantage at all, given that a coin flip is a 50/50 proposition. The "caller" is in no better a position than the non-caller.

The "higher seed chooses" is the rule we use at the Texas state moot court competition. I've always thought it worked well -- it means teams aren't just competing for one of the four elimination round slots, but are also competing for seeding. Because if you're #1, you know you don't have to switch sides at a moment's notice for the next round.

Anyone agree or disagree? Comment below...

April 10, 2009

Stetson wins AAJ trial competition

Stetson University College of Law won the second of the "Big Three" law school mock trial competitions last weekend, beating Samford University Cumberland School of Law in the final round of the national finals of the AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition. The University of Maryland School of Law and Baylor University Law School were the semifinalists.

The STAC final rounds took place in West Palm Beach, featuring the 14 regional championship teams from across the country (in March, I mistakenly reported that both the regional champs and runners up got bids to Florida). The competition started with 248 teams from 147 law schools.

Click here for the AAJ's press release. Here is the post from Stetson's website. And here is Cumberland's.

April 8, 2009

Seton Hall secures Kaufman championship

The 2009 Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition trophy went to Seton Hall University School of Law, which defeated Duke University School of Law this weekend in the tournament's final round. Brooklyn Law School and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Yeshiva University enjoyed semifinal finishes at the 18-team competition hosted by Fordham University School of Law.

Suffolk University Law School and Cardozo, respectively, took home Best Petitioner and Respondent Brief. Best Preliminary Round Speaker Awards went to Tania Faransso of Duke and Tiffany Rowe of Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, with Faransso also picking up the prize for Best Speaker of the Final Round.

More results are here.

April 6, 2009

Michigan State seizes throne at Prince Evidence tourney

Perhaps riding on the coattails of its undergraduate basketball team (or maybe it's the other way around???), Michigan State University College of Law won the 24th Annual Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition this weekend. MSU defeated UC Hastings College of the Law in the final round. Seton Hall University School of Law and and Cornell University Law School were semifinalists at the 36-team tournament hosted by Brooklyn Law School.

Widener University School of Law claimed Best Brief. Mike Nicolas of William & Mary Law School won Best Oralist of the preliminary rounds; Josh Dietz at Hastings won Best Oralist of the final round.

No posts from any school websites yet, but I did find this amusing: Hastings has an article up detailing how it "dominated the out-rounds" at Evan A. Evans two weekends ago. Unfortunately, we learn in the second sentence that by "dominate," they mean "losing in the octas and quarters" and hauling in a second-place advocate award. Had I only known the term "dominate" is interchangeable with "slightly above-average performance," I would have used it myself to celebrate Texas Tech's octafinal loss at Gibbons and my student's second-best advocate award. Oh well...

April 4, 2009

South Texas defeats Faulkner to claim 14th NAAC championship

South Texas College of Law picked a good competition to notch its first championship of the year. It defeated Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in the final round to win the 2009 ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. This is South Texas's 101st national championship, 14th NAAC win (utterly amazing; its last came in 2005). As I posted yesterday, Seton Hall University School of Law and the University of Oklahoma Law Center were semifinalists.

Texas Tech University School of Law (Guns Up!!!) won the National Best Brief Award. Bridget Burke of South Texas won National Best Advocate.

April 3, 2009

2009 NTC champs: Baylor

Baylor University Law School finished as the top team this past weekend at the finals of the National Trial Competition in San Antonio, Texas. University of Kentucky College of Law finished as the runner up. University of Georgia School of Law and Loyola Law School Los Angeles advanced to the semifinals.

Christopher E. Schaefer of Kentcuky won the Best Oral Advocate Award.

The NTC is put on by the Texas Young Lawyers Association. The national finals featured 28 teams -- the top two from each of the 14 regional competitions that took place in February. If you'll recall, Chicago-Kent College of Law Illinois Institute of Technology was on a bid to become the first-ever school to three-peat. It fell short...Meanwhile, this was Baylor's third NTC crown, and its first since 1980.

Baylor has a website post here. Georgia too.

NAAC semifinal results

Faulkner (#9 seed) def. Seton Hall (#4 seed)
South Texas (#15) def. Oklahoma (#6)

So, it's Faulkner v. South Texas for the national championship. Round takes place tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9:30 a.m., CST. I'll blog the results when I get back to my hotel room after the awards banquet. Should be around 1:30 p.m....

NAAC quarterfinal results

Faulkner (#9 seed) def. Texas Tech (#1 seed)
Seton Hall (#4) def. Michigan St. (#12)
Oklahoma (#6) def. Wash. U. (#3)
South Texas (#15) def. Samford (#7)

NAAC octafinal results

Texas Tech (#1 seed) def. Liberty (#16 seed)
Faulkner (#9) def. St. Mary's (#8)
Michigan St. (#12) def. Florida (#5)
Seton Hall (#4) def. Marquette (#13)
Oklahoma (#6) def. American (#11)
Wash U. (#3) def. Hastings (#14)
Samford (#7) def. Loyola Chicago (#10)
South Texas (#15) def. Arizona (#2)

April 2, 2009

Drexel wins Thurgood Marshall moot court competition

Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law took home top honors at last weekend's Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, a 27-team tournament hosted by the Federal Bar Association in Washington, D.C. New York Law School won second place. Southern Illinois University School of Law and St. John's University School of Law were semifinalists.

Best Brief went to Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Best Overall Oralist to Brian DeHem of Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington; Best Final Round Oralist to Donald Mitchell of New York Law School.

Appalachian scales to top of Wechsler Criminal Law tournament

Appalachian School of Law won the Tenth Annual Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition (not to be confused with the fall's Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition) last weekend. Mercer University School of Law took second place at the 25-team tourney, which is hosted by the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law Criminal Law Center. Duke University School of Law the University of Denver Sturm College of Law enjoyed semifinal berths.

Loyola University Chicago School of Law won Best Brief, while Duke's Christopher Vieira topped the oralist rankings.

Here is Appalachian's website report.

Live blogging from the NAAC

The national finals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition started today in Chicago. After two preliminary rounds, the field of 23 (unfortunately, Duke University School of Law had to withdraw due to the unavailability of one of its students) has been narrowed to 16. It's now a "March Madness"-style bracketed tournament, with the 1 seed versus 16 seed, etc., until the last two teams standing meet Saturday morning in the national championship game.

The top 16 teams, in order of their seeds:

1. Texas Tech University School of Law
2. University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
3. Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
4. Seton Hall University School of Law
5. University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
6. University of Oklahoma Law Center
7. Samford University Cumberland School of Law
8. St. Mary's University School of Law
9. Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
10. Loyola University Chicago School of Law
11. American University Washington College of Law
12. Michigan State University College of Law
13. Marquette University Law School
14. UC Hastings College of the Law
15. South Texas College of Law
16. Liberty University School of Law

April 1, 2009

Points up for Moot Court National Championship

As the 2008-09 moot court year draws to a close, Jim Lawrence at the University of Houston Law Center asked me to spread the word that points for the 2010 Moot Court National Championship are posted. Although the MCNC website doesn't reveal the methodology Houston uses (or any other information on the competition, for that matter), it seems similar to that used last year: Competitions are divided into three tiers; the higher the tier, the more points are awarded. The National Moot Court Competition, ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition are Tier 1. Competitions with 40 or more teams fall into Tier 2. Any other tournament is Tier 3.

The top 16 teams will get bids to the competition (which, if it follows last year's plan, will take place in January). The winners of the NMC and NAAC get automatic bids. Not sure whether it's a new proviso, but Prof. Lawrence also told me there there is a "5/2 rule," which means that schools must enter a minimum of five competitions and earn points in at least two to qualify, although the two automatic bids will be excepted.

If you see any mistakes (I've already caught a few, but I'm not yet finished with my review), let them know.

***EDIT 4/2/09 10:05 p.m.*** The MCNC website now has a link to the scoring methodology.

Roger Williams steers its ship to win at Admiralty moot

Roger Williams University School of Law won the 16th Annual Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition last weekend. The Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University finished in second place. The University of Houston Law Center and Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law were semifinalists. The competition, which is held annually under the joint sponsorship of The University of Texas School of Law and a local host school (this year Charleston School of Law assumed the duty), fielded 25 teams from 14 law schools.

Roger Williams kissed the Best Brief trophy, and Peyton Lambert of LSU won Best Oralist, both overall and for the Championship Round.

Full results are here. LSU's website write up is here.