University of Georgia School of Law wins First Amendment Moot Court competition

Monday, February 25, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The team from University of Georgia School of Law took top honors Friday at the 23rd Annual National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the First Amendment Center and Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Winning team members were Mary Beth Martinez and Katie Croghan. The law school also won the competition in 2006. The runner-up team was from the Charlotte School of Law, Christopher Harden and Abbey Mrkus.

Other competition winners included:

  • Semi-finalist teams: Michigan State University College of Law, Corrine Miller and Heidi Williams; University of San Diego School of Law, Kyra      Monroe and Tripp May;
  • Quarterfinalists:   Boston College Law School, Julia Rindler  and Elizabeth Olien; Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Emily      Gurskis and Joshua Williams; Charleston School of Law, Britni McCarson and Mary Abraham; and Georgetown University Law Center, Justin Rowinsky and Annie Johnson
  • Richard S. Arnold Best Oralist Award: Shoyeb Siddique; New York University School of Law, runner-up: David Pollsinelli, South     Texas College of Law.
  • Best Brief: Emily Gurskis and Joshua Williams, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; runner-up: Kyra Monroe      and Tripp May, University of San Diego School of Law.

Competing this year in the two-day competition were 37 teams of students from law schools across the United States. More than 200 attorneys, professors, federal and state judges, and legal scholars judged the preliminary rounds and final rounds.

Competition began Thursday in rounds held both at the Vanderbilt School of Law and moved Friday to the John Seigenthaler Center.

Judges in the concluding rounds Friday included: Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Tennessee Supreme Court, Judge Steven M. Colloton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, Judge Bernice B. Donald, Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, Judge Gilbert S. Merritt and Judge Jane Stranch, all of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater,  Chief, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas; Judge William J. Haynes Jr., Chief, and Judge Aleta Trauger, both of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee; Judge Marian F. Harrison, Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee; Judge James C. Mahan, U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada; and Judge Susan Webber Wright, U.S. District Court for  the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The Best Oralist award was named in 2005 in honor of former federal appeals court Judge Richard S. Arnold, who served on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Arnold, who died in 2004, participated in the Moot Court competition for many years and was a staunch advocate for more cooperation between the courts and journalists so that the public would know more about the operations of the judiciary.

The First Amendment Center is a program of the Freedom Forum – the main funder of the operations of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and of the Diversity Institute – which champions the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment. The center has offices in the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.