Baylor Law's Advocacy Skills Earn Judges' Praise
by Alan Hunt
Baylor Law School's outstanding advocacy reputation received yet more praise and success in both on-campus and off-campus contests recently.
On Saturday, finalists in the school's annual Dawson & Sodd P.C. Fall Moot Court Competition took their skills to the podium before a large audience in the James Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom & Courtroom. The judges praised the students on their courtroom poise and the confident manner in which they way they responded to questions. One judge, Waco attorney Stephen E. Harrison of the law firm of Campbell~Cherry~Harrison~Davis~Dove, P.C., said the students' performances fully confirmed the widely held view that Baylor law graduates "know their way around" the courtroom after they graduate.
Winners of the contest were students Luke McMahan and Kristin Langwell, and the runners-up were Andrew Smith and Ashley Veitenheimer. These four students were the worthy "survivors" of a fiercely contested intramural tournament that got underway some weeks ago with a field of 42 two-person teams.
The students argued a hypothetical case concerning the separation of church and state within a public education setting. Judging the final round were Justice Tom Gray of the Tenth Court of Appeals, Waco, serving as chief justice, and local attorneys, L. Hayes Fuller of Naman Howell Smith & Lee, P.C., Artie G. Giotes of Pakis, Giotes, Page and Burleson, P.C., Frederick Bostwick of Beard, Kultgen, Brophy, Bostwick & Dickson, and Harrison, along with Professor Melissa Essary and law student Moot Court officers Jason Bernhardt, Todd Ptak, and Jennifer Willingham. The preliminary rounds of the contest were judged by law professors and barristers. Barristers are students who have excelled in oral advocacy and have previously made the finals in other competitions.
Also announced were the top speakers during the contest -- Bruce Gisi, Lawrence Morales, Ashley Veitenheimer, Luke McMahan, Chris Sammons, Manson Ho, Kristin Langwell, Josh White, John Hull, Persis Mehta, Dustin Paschal, and Ben King.
In off-campus moot court action, the Baylor Law School teams finished in second and third place at last week's Texas Administrative Law Moot Court Competition held in Austin. Successful Baylor team members were Kenan Boland, Andrew Ryan, Christine Adamson and Robert Little. Boland and Ryan won the final round on oral argument ballots, but finished second after brief scores were figured in.
At the National Criminal Procedure Tournament held last week in San Diego, Baylor advanced to the quarter-finals and narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals. Representing Baylor were team members Somer George, Jessica Russell, Paul Bailiff and Paige Pritchard.