WACO, Texas -
Baylor Law’s annual Faegre Drinker Spring Moot Court Competition ended on Monday, March 22, with students Jean-Marie Anderson and Christine Barfield taking the top spots. Fifty-four teams, comprised almost entirely of students in Baylor Law’s required Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication III class, competed.
The competition began with a practice round in February. At the completion of the fourth round in early March, the top 22 teams advanced to compete in a bracket-style, single-elimination tournament. The competition’s final round was held on Monday evening, March 22nd and was judged by a panel of practicing attorneys, Baylor Law professors, and previous winners of Baylor Law's internal moot court competition. Chief Judge of the final round was W. Neil Rambin (JD ’79), Senior Counsel with Faegre Drinker in Dallas.
The top ten speakers, as well as the members of the top 22 teams, have been named as Barristers of the Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society, an honorific title given to those who stand out for their advocacy skills.
In addition to Champions Jean-Marie Anderson and Christine Barfield, Finalists for the 2021 Faegre Drinker Spring Moot Court Competition were Daniel Seavers and Michael Tagliabue. Caitlin Grieve, Mandy Martin, Aradhana Polley, and Ashlynn Wright were Semifinalists.
The Top Ten speakers were:
This year, student Sky Schoolfield was chosen by the moot-court officers and faculty from the Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication 3 - Persuasive Communication class, to receive the Professionalism Award. This award is not a regular feature of the competition and is only presented when a student demonstrates an exceptional act of professionalism in connection with the competition.
The problem for this year’s competition involved two questions of federal practice. The first was a question about how the federal diversity-jurisdiction statute applies to a dissolved corporation. The second issue was whether a district court correctly granted summary judgment after disregarding substantive changes a witness made to deposition testimony. Throughout the competition, teams rotated between appellant and appellee, forcing them to research issues and find applicable case law from both perspectives.
“The teams survived two weeks of tough competition to reach the finals,” stated Legal Writing Lecturer Mike Berry, who oversaw this year’s competition. “All the students showed an incredible understanding of the legal questions presented in the problem, and they all made very persuasive arguments to support their clients. The final round was very close, as reflected in the seven-judge panel splitting the decision 4 to 3,” he added.
Baylor Law appreciates Faegre Drinker’s continued support of our advocacy program and especially our challenging intramural moot court competition.
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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. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is 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 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 among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #50 in the magazine’s 2019 edition of "America’s Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and #4 in the nation in its most recent "Best Law School Facilities" listing. The 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 the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
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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