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Baylor Law's Annual Dawson & Sodd Moot Court Competition Enters Second Week of Tournament

Sept. 20, 2011

Baylor Law School's annual Dawson & Sodd P.C. Moot Court Competition, an intramural event that lasts almost three weeks, entered its second week yesterday. The tournament began on Monday, Sept. 13, at the law school and the final round will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3. This year, 39 two-person teams will take part in the competition, which simulates the appellate advocacy process, from writing an appellate brief to preparing and presenting oral arguments before a panel of judges. Baylor Law School holds a second intramural moot court competition during the spring.

Baylor law students who currently are taking Appellate Advocacy and Procedure are required to participate in the moot court competition. Additionally, 14 teams of upper-quarter students are competing. At the completion of the fourth round, the top 16 teams will advance to compete in bracket-style competition, with a team being eliminated each day. The top 16 teams are awarded the distinction of barrister.

The case students are arguing this year concerns whether a claim for wrongful adoption exists and if it does, what the appropriate remedy would be. Specifically, the plaintiffs were led to believe by an adoption agency that they were, most likely, adopting a relatively healthy baby. The baby (Jeremy) was later diagnosed as having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and became very violent in childhood. The parents determined they were unable to care for Jeremy, and that he was posing a danger to himself and their biological daughter. Thus, they are seeking dissolution of the adoption.

The winners of the competition will receive $1,250, while finalists will receive $900. The third-place team will receive $300. In addition to naming a winning team, the top 10 speakers for the competition also will be selected.

"I really love moot court, because it hones the speaking skills of the students, prepares them to encounter real world arguments and is the first step in advocacy towards our Practice Court program here at Baylor," said Whitney Keltch, president of the Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society.

The Dawson & Sodd P.C. law firm of Corsicana sponsors the fall competition. The firm's two partners are both graduates of Baylor Law School. Matt "Mad Dog" Dawson served as professor of Baylor's renowned Practice Court program from 1971-1983, while Glenn Sodd is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and was named one of the top 100 general trial attorneys in the U.S. by Town and Country magazine.

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