Baylor Law Team to Compete in National Pretrial Competition

Sept. 29, 2009

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A team of Baylor Law students is off to Florida to take part in the National Pretrial Competition, hosted by Stetson University School of Law. The team of Abigail Nettles, Phil Haines, Bobbi Ingram and James Ray will compete in the tournament Oct. 1-3. The team is coached by Jim Underwood, associate professor of law, and Baylor Law alumnus Alex Bell.

The competition focuses on the components found in pretrial hearings. Competitors must write briefs, present evidence and make oral arguments before a judge. This year's problem has two issues -- whether the court has federal jurisdiction because of a question about one of the defendants and whether to grant a preliminary injunction against the defendants.

"In the problem, there are two fictional companies, and there's an issue with a new technology that two scientists developed," said Nettles. "One of the scientists left the original company after technology was developed, and began using it at his new company, but he claims he's using it for a different purpose than the first company.

"The question we as competitors must deal with is whether the new company can use the technology because it might be a 'new purpose' for it. Because this is all still before the trial, the first company wants to stop the other from using the technology until the trial is actually held. Complicated, but with new technological advances happening all the time in our world, the problem is actually very much a realistic situation."

During the fall, Baylor Law will field a number of teams at major mock trial and moot court tournaments throughout the U.S., including the National Trial Advocacy Competition, which Baylor won last year. The National Trial Advocacy Competition begins Oct. 8.

Contact: Julie Campbell Carlson, Director, Communications and Marketing, Baylor Law School, 254-710-6681

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