After ending last year ranked the best moot court team in the country, Baylor Law has started the 2019-2020 competition year off with a bang with a win at the 31st Annual E. Earle Zehmer Workers' Compensation Moot Court Competition. This follows another first-place win at the Texas Young Lawyers Competition Moot Court Competition, held in conjunction with the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting earlier this summer. Baylor Law has now won the Zehmer Competition two years in a row. The team of Jessica Cox and Andrew Swallows took the top spot at the Moot Court Competition held Aug 11-12 in Orlando as part of the 74th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and the 31st Annual Safety and Health Conference. Cox and Swallows were co-coached by Baylor Law Professor Patricia Wilson and Christy Hix (JD ’16) of Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones A total of 24 teams representing 15 law schools competed.
“Winning the Zehmer Competition, after all of the weeks of preparation that went into it, is an honor. It was exciting to be part of a team of hard-working Baylor law students and professors that all worked so well together and were motivated to do their best to make the school proud.” Stated winning team member Jessie Cox, who added, “We could not have done this without all of the hard work and dedication of our coaches & the training we receive at Baylor Law. We’re thrilled that we could bring home a win.” Cox’s teammate Andrew Swallows echoed her comments and added, “The Zehmer competition was an incredible learning opportunity. The ability to dig into an area of law that Jessie and I did not have exposure to in our first year was very valuable. My favorite part of the competition was getting the chance to argue in front of real-life appellate judges, which is an opportunity many students don't get to experience in their law school career. Baylor Law School’s advocacy program, our coaches, and our teammates set us up for success.”
The Zehmer Competition is known as one of the more unique moot court competitions in the country for its complex issues and concepts designed to immerse the student in worker’s compensation law. The judges in the preliminary rounds are sitting judges, commissioners, and other adjudicators who hear workers’ compensation cases on a regular basis. The final round of the competition was judged by three current judges of the Florida First District Court of Appeal – Chief Judge Stephanie Ray, honorable Thomas Winokur, and honorable Harvey Jay III.
The annual E. Earle Zehmer National Workers’ Compensation Moot Court Competition is held at the Florida Workers’ Compensation Convention. Attorneys from around the country participate in the convention in order to discuss legal issues in the area of workers’ compensation. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of a panel of judges. Each team consists of two or three JD candidates from American Bar Association-approved law schools. During the competitions two qualifying rounds, students must compete on ‘both sides’ of the case – meaning they must argue at least once on behalf of the respondent and the petitioner.
“The Baylor Law team argued brilliantly in the final round before three judges from the Florida First District Court of Appeal,” said Professor Patricia Wilson. “This was a challenging competition and they rose to the task.”
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Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,500 living alumni. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts among its notable alumni two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2. Baylor Law School also is ranked No. 48 in the magazine’s 2020 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the “Best School for Practical Training” and No. 4 in the nation in its most recent “Best Law School Facilities” listing. Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since its inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu