A Competition Honoring the Memory of Professor Matt 'Mad Dog' Dawson
Baylor Law student Matthew Maupin has been named the most recent Baylor Law 'Mad Dog,' after winning the Fall 2021 Mad Dog Mock Trial Competition. Fellow student Kristopher Ruiz was the finalist.
A long-running tradition at Baylor Law, every Practice Court class competes in the Bob and Karen Wortham "Mad Dog" Practice Court Competition, a week-long contest that occurs at the beginning of the second quarter of the famed Practice Court program. Mad Dog is a one-on-one (no partners) advocacy competition in which the students are given a case file a mere 48 hours before the competition and then compete head-to-head in a single-elimination style tournament. This year's Fall Mad Dog competition was held Monday, November 29 through Friday, December 3.
Maupin faced Ruiz for over three hours on December 3 to win the coveted trophy and the title of the top Baylor Law student trial advocate. As winner of the Mad Dog competition, Maupin will receive $4,000 and an 18-inch bronze statuette of Matt "Mad Dog" Dawson, the legendary Baylor Law professor who started the tradition of mini-trial competitions during his tenure as director of Baylor Law's Practice Court Program. As a finalist, Ruiz received $1,500. Semifinalists Emma Vyncke and Daniela Vakulchik each received $750.
“I chose to go to Baylor Law because I didn’t want to be just a lawyer; I wanted to be a Baylor Lawyer. I have benefited from having some of the most dedicated and devoted professors and mentors during my time at Baylor, to whom I’ll be forever grateful.” Stated Mad Dog Champion Matthew Maupin, “The opportunities I’ve had to learn from some of the best trial lawyers in the nation are second to none. I cannot wait to call myself a capital ‘B’ and capital ‘L’ Baylor Lawyer- and join the ranks of proud alumnus who are leaders and mentors in their craft.” After graduation, Maupin plans to join fellow Baylor Lawyer Henry B. Gonzalez III, JD ’95, at Gonzalez Chiscano Angulo & Kasson, PC in San Antonio.
The Final Round
In the final round, Maupin and Ruiz tried a personal injury lawsuit regarding an automobile accident. Channing Stockard, a 17-year-old woman, was a passenger in a car driven by the Defendant Mitch Murphy. Murphy was driving a sports car on the highway. As he came over a hill, Murphy saw a tractor-trailer in the right-hand lane of the highway. At that same moment, Murphy took his eyes off the road and turned to talk to Stockard. By the time Murphy looked back to the road he realized that the tractor-trailer wasn’t moving and slammed on his brakes, but it was too late. The sports car collided with the back of the tractor-trailer and Channing Stockard was killed. Channing’s father sued Murphy for negligence, and Murphy claims that the blame should be placed on the driver of the tractor-trailer for parking his truck in the middle of a lane of traffic.
The scoring judges for the final round were:
The Honorable Bob and Karen Wortham have generously sponsored the Mad Dog intrascholastic competition at Baylor Law for several years. Judge Wortham serves as the District Attorney for Jefferson County and previously served as the judge of 58th District Court in Jefferson County from 2007 to 2014. He also served 12 years as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas before becoming a partner in the Reaud, Morgan and Quinn Law Firm.
"Judge Bob and Karen Wortham have been such wonderful friends of Baylor Law and we are so honored that they continue to generously support the Mad Dog competition. The practical training opportunity this unique competition provides our students is invaluable," said Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben.
Volunteer Judges, Fall 2021 Mad Dog Competition
Hon. Christine Nowak
The next Mad Dog Competition will be held during the Summer Quarter of Practice Court in 2022.
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