February 28, 2010

Advancing teams from Vegas and San Fran NAAC regionals

Ahh, it's that time of year again -- the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition is underway. This weekend featured the first two of the competition's six regional tournaments in Las Vegas and San Francisco. Next weekend will see teams compete in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. The weekend after that the show goes to Boston and Miami.

I don't have any information on briefs or advocates (and won't until the regional rounds conclude, and even then, I won't post until after the whole shebang is over to protect the anonymity of the teams), but I do have the important info: Which teams have advanced to the national finals in Chicago in early April.

Las Vegas Regional:

Loyola Law School Los Angeles (2 teams)
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
University of Miami School of Law

San Fransisco Regional:
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law
University of Texas School of Law

You may recall this post in December, where I rather half-assedly handicapped the "strength" of the four regionals based on a few different metrics. Regardless of three methods I employed, Vegas and San Fran came out as the "weakest" of the six regions, with only Chicago-Kent College of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology) and UC Hastings College of the Law as the real "powerhouse" programs in either region. Rather surprisingly though, neither school advanced a team to Chicago...

February 21, 2010

Make it three: Lewis & Clark wins again at Pace

Lewis & Clark continued to exert its dominance at the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School this weekend, finishing first among a field of 84 teams. This marks the third straight Pace championship for Lewis & Clark, and its fourth since 2004. The University of Houston Law Center and University of Wyoming College of Law (which knocked out my Texas Tech team in the quarterfinals) were the two other finalists (each round consists of three teams, as the problem is three-sided).

Semifinal finishes were enjoyed by UC Hastings College of the Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, Tulane University Law School, and UCLA School of Law.

Hastings won the overall Best Brief award, while Leah Branch of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law won Best Oralist honors.

Full results are here.

February 4, 2010

Arkansas razors Mississippi College's back

Congratulations to the University of Arkansas School of Law, which tonight won the title at the 60th annual National Moot Court Competition. Mississippi College took second place. Texas Tech University School of Law and Saint Louis University School of Law were the national semifinalists.

Seattle University School of Law claimed the Best Brief Award, while Allison Waldrip of Arkansas was named the Best Oralist.

NMCC semifinal results

Mississippi College (#1 seed) def. Texas Tech (#12 seed)
Arkansas (#6 seed) def. Saint Louis (#2 seed)

My Texas Tech team beat Mississippi College on orals, but by only one point. It wasn't enough to overcome the brief. Final round is at 8 p.m., EST. See my previous post for the webcasting address. Good luck to the finalists!

NMCC quarterfinal results

Mississippi College (#1 seed) def. Georgia (#9 seed)
Texas Tech (#12 seed) def. Washington (#4 seed)
Arkansas (#6 seed) def. Cleveland-Marshall (#14 seed)
Saint Louis (#2 seed) def. Faulkner (#10 seed)

So, the #1 and #2 are both still alive. My Texas Tech team has a difficult road to hoe, having to play Mississippi College and its monster brief score in the first semifinal match. The Arkansas/Saint Louis round is, for all practical purposes, even-steven on brief.

The semifinal rounds are at 4 p.m. EST; the final round is at 8 p.m. EST. Like last year, the final round will be webcast live. Go to http://www.nycbar.org/YoungLawyers/index.htm at 8 p.m. to watch...

February 3, 2010

NMCC octofinal results

Mississippi College (#1 seed) def. Wake Forest (#16 seed)
Georgia (#9 seed) def. San Francisco (#8 seed)
Texas Tech (#12 seed) def. Hamline (#5 seed)
Washington (#4 seed) def. Colorado (#13 seed)
Cleveland-Marshall (#14 seed) def. Chicago-Kent (#3 seed)
Arkansas (#6 seed) def. Case Western (#11 seed)
Faulkner (#14 seed) def. George Mason (#7 seed)
Saint Louis (#2 seed) def. South Texas (#15 seed)

It appears that Chicago-Kent's road to three-peat glory has reached a dead end...

February 2, 2010

Live blogging from the National Moot Court Competition

The national finals of the National Moot Court Competition kicked off yesterday in the Big Apple. After two preliminary rounds, the field of 28 is now down to the Sweet 16. The octofinals and semifinals are today, with the semis and national championship game on Thursday.

Two things of note: First, Chicago-Kent's bid for what would be a mind-boggling third-straight title is still alive. Second, the tournament's Best Brief winner, Seattle University School of Law, is already out. But the second-best brief score (which was just a quarter of a point behind Seattle's) IS still alive, in the form of #1 seed Mississippi College.

Without further ado, the top 16 teams, in order of their seeds:

1. Mississippi College School of Law
2. Saint Louis University School of Law
3. Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
4. University of Washington School of Law
5. Hamline University Law School
6. University of Arkansas School of Law
7. George Mason University School of Law
8. University of San Francisco School of Law
9. University of Georgia School of Law
10. Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
11. Case Western Reserve University School of Law
12. Texas Tech University School of Law
13. University of Colorado Law School
14. Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
15. South Texas College of Law
16. Wake Forest University School of Law

February 1, 2010

John Marshall reigns supreme at UH MCNC

The second annual Moot Court National Championship concluded Saturday night with The John Marshall Law School standing tall above the other 15 invited schools. Launched last year by the University of Houston's Blakely Advocacy Institute as sort of a counterpart to NITA's mock trial Tournament of Champions, "The Championship" (as Blakely Director Jim Lawrence calls it) had nearly $8,000 in prize money to dole out. John Marshall took home $4,000 as champions. Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law won $2,000 as the tournament's runner-up. Florida Coastal School of Law and South Texas College of Law were the semifinalists.

Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology received $1,000 for winning the Best Brief award; Danielle Ravencraft of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University scored a cool grand for being named Best Oralist.

All in all, I was quite impressed with the tournament. For one, it's obvious that Professor Lawrence and his committee -- which was headed up by UH moot court alumni -- bent over backward to provide a great experience. They were constantly seeking input on what was good and what was bad, which shows they care about what they're doing and the future of the competition. The rounds took place at the federal district courthouse, which was only problematic to the extent there was a lot of confusion about what courtrooms we were arguing in. More importantly though, the level of competition was incredibly stout. I've commented that this past year's ABA NAAC national finals was the same way, but honestly, of the four teams we played, all were just as good as any team I saw in Chicago last year.

As I told Professor Lawrence, I would prefer that he run the competition "in the open" (or at least provide win-loss and point differential information as the competition progresses) like the NAAC and the National Moot Court Competition, but that's really my only complaint. Each team argues four preliminary rounds, which is just tremendous (it protects you from being stung by one rogue panel of judges). The ABA and NMCC finals both have just two preliminary rounds, which I think is at least one too few.

Also impressive was the symposium the law school hosted on Thursday, which was tied to the subject matter of the problem. It appeared as if only half or so of the teams showed up to the symposium, but it was very well done and a nice touch.

Anyway, congrats to everyone at Blakely for a well-run tournament -- having seen the outstanding level of competition, I'd say it absolutely deserves a seat at the table alongside the NAAC and NMCC in terms of competition prestige.