South Texas hoisted the Best Brief trophy above its mighty head, while Alexander Landback from the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law was declared the nation's Best Speaker.
* Yes, there is some sarcasm to my voice. I poke fun not at South Texas, who, as everyone knows, IS the Emperor of the moot court universe, whether they have a
But I'm still disappointed that Houston chooses to run a behind-closed-doors competition, as opposed to the two other "major" tournaments (the National Moot Court Competition and ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition), where transparency seems to be the goal. I don't understand why other teams' identities and brief scores, as well as round results, need to be a secret. Blakely Director Jim Lawrence has told me in the past that he believes making such information public at the outset "changes things," and while I guess that's true in some respects, we ARE talking about a gathering of the best teams in the country. Can we not assume that our students are going to bring their "A Games" every time out? If you're 0-3 heading into your last round, doesn't it stand to reason that you're going to give it all you've got to pull out at least one win? If you're 3-0, wouldn't you think you'd be just as motivated to win and capture the #1 seed?
I also fail to see why we can't use our own timekeepers, as is the case at the NMCC and NAAC. In our last round, the UH student baliffing held up a "Stop" card to my advocate who still had one minute left of rebuttal time (without holding up any other previous time card to warn him that the "Stop" card was on its way). It resulted in an awkward exchange between the judge and advocate (and ultimately a terse instruction from the judge to sit down) that was entirely avoidable.
Anyway, just some grumblings from a coach likely fueled by disappointment that his team didn't finish better. Not that anything I just mentioned had anything to do with our finish (it didn't). Most everything else at the tournament was great, including a fantastic closing banquet at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse attended by lots of lawyers from the sponsoring firms and real judges from both Texas and federal courts -- cool networking opportunity for the students.
I hope to have the opportunity to bring a team back next year...