Baylor Law Students Celebrate Victory In D.C. and Houston
by Alan Hunt
Baylor Law School chalked up major victories in high-profile moot court and mock trial competitions held last weekend in Washington, D.C. and in Houston.
In Washington, D.C., Baylor teams placed first and third in a National First Amendment Moot Court Competition involving 27 teams from law schools across the country. And in Houston, Baylor's Mock Trial teams won first and second place at the regional tournament of the Student Trial Advocacy Competition.
Representing Baylor in Washington, D.C., were first-place team members Bruce Gisi, Andrew Smith, and Jennifer Stein, and the third-place team members were Julia Matheny, Lawrence Morales, and Ashley Veitenheimer. Bruce Gisi also was named Best Oral Advocate in the contest. Team coach Brian J. Serr, professor of law, said the Baylor students performed "magnificently." He added, "They did a good job. They were hard workers."
The Houston contest, sponsored by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), attracted 16 teams from the Texas law schools, as well as law schools in Oklahoma and Alabama. The two Baylor teams won their semi-final trials against the University of Texas and the University of Houston, to close out the competition. The two Baylor teams then faced each other in the final round, with the winner qualifying for the national tournament to be held March 11-14 in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The first-place team was composed of lawyers Eric Porterfield and Carolyn Tapie, as well as witnesses Chris Adamson and Andy Ryan. This team was undefeated in five trials. The second-place team was composed of lawyers Bo Davis and Wes Lotz, as well as witnesses Keenan Boland and Jason Bernhardt.
Coaching the teams in the Houston tournament were Gerald R. Powell, who serves as The Abner V. McCall Professor of Evidence, and Adjunct Professor Kathy Serr. Powell said, "These young lawyers achieved great things in Houston last weekend, and we are very proud of them. Winning first place is incredibly hard in the Texas regional, known nation-wide as the most competitive of all regions. Winning first and second in this region is almost unheard of."
Powell said Baylor won first place in this regional competition last year, and then went on to a third-place finish in the national tournament.