March 31, 2010

Some NSFW fun

Awhh, yeah. Today, thanks to my good friend Kent Streseman (Director of the Ilana Diamond Rovner Appellate Advocacy Program at Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago-Kent College of Law), I give you the "I'm on a Boat"-inspired "I'm in a Moot." I agree with Prof. Streseman that the production value and overall quality is far superior to the mock trial version, "I'm in the Court."

If you're easily offended by foul language and suggestive dancing, please don't click below. If you're like me and have a potty mouth (and are thus intrigued by my offering), I warn you: This is most definitely NSFW ("not safe for work"), so close your office or study carrel doors before taking a gander.

March 23, 2010

My interview with "The Ranker"

A few weeks ago I responded to some written interview questions from Brian Koppen, a.k.a. "The Ranker," whose moot court ranking system I've taken issue with from the earliest days of this here bloggy thing.

You can read the full interview here. I'm somewhat surprised -- and impressed, I'd add -- that Koppen posted the entire interview, unedited. I know we've been hard on each other in the past, but I've always said that I appreciate what he does. And frankly, since he changed his system to award double points for quarterfinal finishes and higher at the National Moot Court Competition, ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the results are far more reliable than they once were. Remember -- under his old system, a school could win BOTH the ABA NAAC AND the NMCC and yet still not get as many points as it would for winning just the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. Now, his rankings don't differ all that much from the University of Houston's Moot Court National Championship rankings. It's hard to compare them because Houston runs on the academic year, whilst Koppen runs on the calendar year, and thus each system is including competition results that the other doesn't. But by and large, there's a good degree of overlap between the two.

Anyway, go on over to the Ranker's blog and give it a read...

March 22, 2010

National Trial Competition finals set

The Texas Young Lawyers Association's National Trial Competition heats up later this week with the national finals scheduled to start on Thursday morning in Dallas.

The two teams advancing from each regional competition (which took place in early February) are:

Region 1 (Conn., Me., N.H., R.I., Vt.):
Franklin Pierce Law Center
Yale Law School

Region 2 (N.Y.):
Syracuse University College of Law (2 teams)

Region 3 (Del., N.J., Pa., W. Va.):
Duquesne University School of Law
Villanova University School of Law

Region 4 (Md., Va., D.C.):
Regent University School of Law
William & Mary Law School

Region 5 (Ga., N.C., S.C., Tenn.):
Georgia State University College of Law
Wake Forest University School of Law

Region 6 (Ala., Fla., Miss.):
Samford University Cumberland School of Law
Stetson University College of Law

Region 7 (Ky., Mich., Ohio):
Salmon P. Chase College of Law Northern Kentucky University
University of Kentucky College of Law

Region 8 (Ill., Ind.):
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law
Northwestern University School of Law

Region 9 (Iowa, Minn., Mo., Wis.):
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (2 teams)

Region 10 (La., Tex.):
South Texas College of Law
Texas Tech University School of Law

Region 11 (Ark., Colo., Kan., N.M., Okla.):
Oklahoma City University School of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Region 12 (Idaho, Mont., Neb., N.D., Or., S.D., Wash., Wyo.):
University of South Dakota School of Law
University of Washington School of Law

Region 13 (Nev., N. Cal.):
Stanford Law School
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

Region 14 (Ariz., S. Cal., Utah):
Loyola Law School Los Angeles
University of San Diego School of Law

March 19, 2010

Mercer chews up field at Charleston

Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law won the Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition February 6, beating Florida Coastal School of Law in the final round. DePaul University College of Law and and Florida State University College of Law finished as semifinalists at the 26-team tournament.

Mercer won Best Petitioner's Brief, and Florida State won Best Respondent's Brief. Emily E. Macheski-Preston of Mercer won Best Oralist of the Final Round, while Neda Lajevardi of the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law won Best Oralist of the Preliminary Rounds.

Florida State was awarded the "Professionalism Award," so congratulations on all that.

Full results are here. Mercer's got a website write up here.

March 18, 2010

University of Texas tops the Duberstein pyramid

The University of Texas School of Law claimed both first and second place honors at the Annual Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition this past weekend, besting 45 other teams in one of the country's most prestigious tournaments. Texas Tech University School of Law tied with last year's champion University of Miami School of Law for third place. The competition is sponsored by the St. John’s University School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Texas's second-place team also took home Best Brief honors, while Nicole Hay of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law was awarded the Best Advocate trophy.

All in all, a really great showing for the Texas schools -- as you can see from the complete results here, two of the competition's top five briefs were written by Texas law schools, while four of the top five advocates call the Lone Star State home.

March 15, 2010

Update to Miami NAAC regional results

Well, as I feared, my post yesterday was indeed incorrect. As commenter John B. suggested, a second team from Oklahoma – and not WashU – was named as the fourth regional champion. The confusion apparently centered on a “missing” ballot in the round. As many of you know, the break rounds of the NAAC are determined by the team winning a majority of the ballots. If there are five judges, the team who wins three or more ballots wins the round. On the other hand, if the ballots are tied, it then goes to points (indeed, one of my own teams won its regional final this way, tying two ballots to two but winning on total points). Well, in the regional final between Oklahoma and WashU, on first tally, there were only four countable ballots (despite there being five judges in the room). On points, WashU was ahead, and was therefore declared the winner. At some point, however, a fifth ballot surfaced, which was in favor of Oklahoma. Based on the new ballot, the previous announcement was reversed.

I know the folks who run the ABA NAAC well, and I’m certain there’s a good explanation for the confusion. But man oh man, do I ever feel for WashU’s team, who experienced the joy of thinking they had secured a regional championship, only to learn 30 minutes later that a lost ballot had mysteriously surfaced to sink their chances. On a larger level, I think this further goes to show the importance of transparency in administration of competitions. I’m sure the ABA isn’t thrilled about the confusion, but I’m likewise sure they’re happy that their transparency policy allowed this to come to light and be addressed. As for what happens in this case, we’ll have to wait and see – my hope is that WashU’s second squad will be invited to Chicago as a 25th team, which I think would eliminate any questions that either WashU or Oklahoma could raise…

March 14, 2010

Advancing teams from Boston and Miami NAAC regionals (I think)

And the field of 24 is complete: This weekend was the last of the three sets of regional competitions for the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Two weekends ago it started with Las Vegas and San Francisco; last weekend it was Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. My Miami contact (Prof. Sander Moody at Florida Coastal School of Law) said he had heard some rumblings that perhaps the initial announcement by the competition coordinators was incorrect, but that he's likewise confident his notes reflect the four correct regional champions. So, with that caveat noted, the final eight teams to punch their tickets to the national finals in Chicago next month are:

Boston Regional:
Emory University School of Law
South Texas College of Law (2 teams)
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law

Miami Regional:
Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
University of Oklahoma Law Center
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (2 teams)

I'm dubbing this year the "year of the Double-Double," in part because I'm an enormous fan of the In-N-Out Burger, but more so because I doubt there's ever been a year with so many schools advancing two teams. Loyola Law School Los Angleles, Seton Hall University School of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, and now South Texas and WashU are all sending both of their teams. Pretty amazing...

I'm also very proud of my fellow Texans -- Tech and South Texas will be joined in Chicago by Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Baylor Law School, and University of Texas School of Law. In all, 7 of the 24 national finalists (nearly 30 percent) are from Texas schools. And if you throw in our neighbor OU, you'll see why I continuously argue that Texas is one of the most competitive advocacy regions in the country -- particularly at the National Moot Court Competition, where all those schools (from Texas and Oklahoma) have to battle it out for just two spots at the national finals.

March 6, 2010

Advancing teams from Brooklyn and D.C. NAAC regionals

Last week I posted on the eight regional champions from the Las Vegas and San Francisco regionals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. This weekend featured the Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. regionals. Without further ado:

Brooklyn Regional:
Seton Hall University School of Law (2 teams)
Texas Tech University School of Law (2 teams)

Washington, D.C. Regional:
American University Washington College of Law
Baylor Law School
Liberty University School of Law
University of Baltimore School of Law