Baylor Law Wins National Moot Court Competition on Bankruptcy Law

March 21, 2006

NEW YORK -- Students from Baylor Law School were last night (Monday) declared the winners of The Judge Conrad B. Duberstein Moot Court Competition, the nation's only moot court competition devoted entirely to bankruptcy law. Jointly sponsored by St. John's University School of Law, N.Y., and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the prestigious competition is named for distinguished St. John's alumnus and former ABI Director Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein.

The Baylor victory was announced at a banquet in New York attended by more than 850 people. Faculty sponsor and coach, Professor Larry Bates, said the victory announcement caused great excitement among the Baylor students. "They competed in the final round on Monday afternoon, but, traditionally, the winners are not announced until the banquet," he said. "They were thrilled to win the national title for Baylor, along with a prize of $5,000 for their success. There were 52 teams from around the nation competing in the contest."

Baylor was represented at the competition by Alison Ashmore, Deren Boswell, Bethany Espinoza, Loren Reynolds, Jennifer Seale, and Devon Sharp. Assistant coach was Baylor law graduate Casey Cox Fisk, who is an associate at the Dallas office of the Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P..

Bates said the Baylor students defeated a team from Mississippi College School of Law to win the contest, which was judged by some of the nation's leading bankruptcy and appellate judges. The final round of the competition was held at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, located in lower Manhattan. He said the competition is designed to promote and recognize the finest oral and written advocacy on a significant problem in bankruptcy practice. Each team argues in at least two preliminary rounds on alternating sides.

"It was a total team effort, "Bates said. "Deren, Loren and Bethany led the way to the championship, supported wholeheartedly by Alison, Jennifer and Devon. Everybody pitched in with such enthusiasm."

This latest New York victory comes on the heels of another recent outstanding success in Washington, D.C., when Baylor Law fielded the top two teams competing in the regional tournament of the prestigious American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition.

Said Law Dean Brad Toben, "Baylor's winning the national championship in this competition in a sense is no surprise. Baylor mock trial and moot court teams have consistently risen to the top in interscholastic competition. Just a couple weeks ago, we completely dominated -- in every respect -- the regionals in the national ABA moot court competition. Baylor Law students love advocacy and receive unmatched instruction and training in the arts of advocacy. That we should be consistently dominant in competition is something that just flows from the excellence of our program."

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