January 31, 2010

Texas Tech reclaims ABA Arbitration championship

I'm proud to report that Texas Tech won the national finals of the ABA Arbitration Competition, which took place January 22-23 in Orange County, California (Chapman University School of Law, last year's champion, played host). Like this year's Alamo Bowl, Tech defeated Michigan State University College of Law in the championship game. A second team from Texas Tech and Creighton University School of Law were the semifinalists.

Texas Tech last won the Arbitration crown two years ago, after losing in the national championship round in 2007.

January 13, 2010

Word of the year: Orthogonal

Last year I posted about the word "Romanette," and its use during a SCOTUS argument wherein Chief Justice Roberts admitted to having never heard the term. Well, this past Monday seemed like deja vu all over again. In the argument for Briscoe v. Virginia, University of Michigan Law School Professor Richard D. Friedman described something as "entirely orthogonal." Click here for the full, rather entertaining story.

January 12, 2010

Check you briefs!

If you're an Above The Law fan, you'll get the headline. If not, you ought to be an Above The Law fan.

In honor of yesterday's midnight brief filing deadline for the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, my post today is just a simple reminder that you can never do enough copyediting. Seriously, click the link. You won't be disappointed...

Thanks to Brian Leiter for the tip...

January 11, 2010

Competition hosting: To participate, or not participate?

Brian Koppen has followed up on the promise he made last summer to feature some guest posts on his blog. About a month ago, last year's student chairman of the James Braxton Craven, Jr. Moot Court Competition weighed in on the issue of whether, in advocacy competitions run by a particular school (as opposed to a Bar Association or law firm), a team from the host school should participate in the tournament.

The post discusses all the right reasons for the Craven committee's decision not to allow a UNC team to compete. Believe me -- nothing good can come from the host school participating. Any round the home team wins leaves the losing team with a sour taste in its mouth. And it's not that the host school "cheated" or had any real advantage; rather, it's the perception of advantage, combined with the inevitable unwillingness of any advocacy team to admit that it was actually inferior to its opponent.

Simply put: If the host school wins (or even goes deep into the field), nobody's happy. Why would you want to subject that to yourself if you're trying to run a reputable competition?