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Baylor Law to Participate in Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition

March 16, 2011

by Brittany Hardy

Baylor Law students Reagan Vernon and Pamela Sieja and their coach Professor Rory Ryan have been researching, brief-writing and participating in oral arguments in preparation for the Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, to be held in Washington, D.C., on March 17-18.

The competition is sponsored by the Young Lawyers division of the Federal Bar Association.

The competition problem deals with two main issues. The first is whether state procedures that do not afford a defendant at least one appeal agree with the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. The second is whether the McCarran-Ferguson Act reverse preempts the Federal Arbitration Act.

Each round in the competition is conducted in a different distinguished courtroom. These are to be held in the D.C. Superior Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Therefore, the teams will present oral argument in courtrooms, instead of law school classrooms, which is typical to most moot court competitions.

Many professors and faculty members have volunteered their time to help the Thurgood Marshall team prepare for competition, serving as guest judges in practice rounds.

"The input from the guest judges played a valuable role in helping the team prepare for the competition," Sieja said, "We want to thank Professor Laura Hernandez, Professor Jill Wieber Lens, Professor Luke Meier, Professor Patricia Wilson and Director of Career Development Michael Berry for helping us prepare for the competition."

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