Arkansas Wins National Moot Court Competition

National Moot Court Winners

The University of Arkansas winning Moot Court team, from left to right: Allison Waldrip, Taylor Mattson, and Ashley Driver.

March 2010

The University of Arkansas School of Law won the final round of the 60th Annual National Moot Court Competition, hosted February 1-4 at the City Bar in conjunction with the American College of Trial Lawyers.  The winning team was comprised of Ashley Driver, Taylor Mattson, and Allison Waldrip.   Mississippi College School of Law was the runner-up team, comprised of Constance Brewster, Krissy Casey, and Malcolm Levy Leatherman.

Twenty-eight teams from fourteen regions across the country competed at the City Bar in four days of competition leading up to the final round.  This year, over 500 students from 118 law schools competed in the preliminary rounds leading up to the finals.

Best Brief honors went to Seattle University School of Law team members Meredith Dishaw, Ursula Owen, and Ryan Rautio. The runner-up for Best Brief went to the Mississippi College School of Law team. Best Individual Oral Argument went to Allison Waldrip of the winning University of Arkansas team, with the runner-up Malcolm Levy Leatherman of the Mississippi College team.  

The final round was judged by a panel of distinguished members of the Bar and bench, with Hon. Susan P. Read, of the New York State Court of Appeals, presiding.  The other members of the panel were Hon. Helen E. Freedman, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department; Hon. Nina Gershon, U.S. District Court, EDNY; Hon. Victor Marrero, U.S. District Court, SDNY; Hon. Sidney Stein, U.S. District Court, SDNY; Joan A. Lukey, President, American College of  Trial Lawyers; and Patricia M. Hynes, President, New York City Bar Association.  

This year’s National Moot Court Competition presented two issues not yet decided by the United States Supreme Court:

1. Does the imposition of a life sentence without the possibility of parole on a juvenile offender convicted in a non-homicide crime violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution?  

2. What standard should the court apply when deciding a motion to change venue in which the defendant argues that she cannot receive a fair trial in the current form?

The competition is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers (a national organization composed of approximately 5,700 of the leading advocates in the United States) and the City Bar’s Young Lawyers Committee.

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