Suzanne Peters and Jacob Triolo talk following the competition.
The John W. Davis Moot Court Competition is an appellate advocacy competition held annually at the School of Law. The Davis competition consists of two components: the submission of an appellate brief and the presentation of oral arguments before a panel of judges. This year's problem was based on Snyder v. Phelps, concerning an individual's right to privacy and the First Amendment right to speak freely about public issues.
During the competition, students write briefs individually or in teams of two, and all participants argue alone. Competitors advance from the initial rounds based upon their performance on the brief and their oral advocacy skills, both on-brief and off-brief. Advancement in later rounds is based purely on oral advocacy. More than 80 students participated in this year's competition.
The final round of oral arguments was judged this year by one of the most distinguished panels in the competition's history. The Honorable Bobby Baldock of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable Jennifer Elrod of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Honorable Duane Benton of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals presided.
The Davis Competition is named in honor of alumnus John W. Davis, who joined the law school briefly as its third faculty member in 1896. Widely regarded as one of the finest advocates of the 20th century, Davis argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 139 times before his death in 1955.
Best Oralist: Suzanne Peters '12L
Runner-Up: Jacob Triolo '12L
Finalists: Roddy Flynn '12L, Steven Harkins '12L
Best Brief: Meghan Monaghan '11L and Maryl Sattler '11L.
Runners-Up: Megan Hobbs '12L and Jennifer Smyrnos '12L
Nominees: Liz Juterbock '12L and Rae Mueller '12L, Negin Farahmand '12L and Tyler Laughinghouse '12L, Katie Abplanalp '11L and Kristen Gustavson '11L.
The Moot Court Board presents awards to the top oralists, to the winner(s) for Best Brief, and to the first runner-up for Best Brief. Students who participate are also eligible to represent the School of Law in national Moot Court competitions such as the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition and the Philip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The administrators for this year's competition were third-year students Margaret Hannapel and Rachel Vargo.
The Moot Court Executive Board, chaired this year by Jessica Guzik '11L, administers all competitions for the Moot Court Program, which includes the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition, Mock Trial, Mediation, and Client Counseling. For more information about the Moot Court Board and upcoming competitions, please visit http://law.wlu.edu/mootcourt.