A Baylor Law team won the regional championship of the American Bar Association's annual National Appellate Advocacy Competition in early March in San Francisco and will head to the national championship in April in Chicago.
The team of Molly Hinshaw, Taylor Romero and Maxim Ternosky was undefeated in five oral argument rounds (dropping only 2 of 18 ballots throughout the tournament). They won the final round against Cal-Davis unanimously and thereby qualified for the National Finals in Chicago in mid-April. Romero won a top 10 regional advocate award (number 7) for her overall tournament performance, and Ternosky was judged the top speaker in the final round. A second Baylor Law team of Tiffany Terndrup and Will Thomas also advanced to the Regional Finals but narrowly missed qualifying for the Nationals on a split decision. The teams are coached by Professor Brian Serr.
"In terms of quantity and quality, this is probably the most competitive moot court competition in the nation; to come so close to qualifying two teams for the nationals is a testament to the talent and hard work of the advocates. I congratulate and thank them for their efforts and their success. Thanks also to Kelsi Lauger for traveling with the team and serving as a bailiff," Serr said.
The ABA's moot court competition is the biggest in the nation, involving nearly two hundred teams from law schools across the nation. The regional competition featured 32 teams, with four teams advancing to the national championship. Baylor Law's team will be one of 24 teams advancing.
During the competition, students delivered oral arguments in a healthcare case that involved whether Medicaid and/or private insurance should pay for an autistic child's therapies. The first question focused on the Medicaid Act and whether the state is obligated to pay for behavioral therapy. The second question concerned the Wellstone Act, which requires insurance companies to establish parity between mental health and physical healthcare benefits.
The ABA Moot Court regional competition was the sixth advocacy competition won in 2012 by a Baylor Law team. A Baylor Law team won the AAJ mock trial regional competition and will advance to the national competition, while two Baylor Law teams have qualified for the National Trial Competition after winning the regional competition; a moot court team won the Elliott Cup; a team from Baylor Law won the National Security Moot Court Competition at George Washington University's School of Law; and Baylor Law captured the Transactional Law Meet Midwest Regional. Baylor Law advocacy teams are underwritten through the generosity of the M.D. Anderson Foundation.