South Texas claims moot court championship

UHLC hosts annual Andrews Kurth national competition.

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Moot Court
The South Texas College of Law team took top honors in the 2012 Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship co-sponsored by the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. The winners and judges in the final round are, left to right, Judge James Graves, Jr. (US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit), Judge Jennifer Elrod (US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit), the South Texas team of Callin Kerr, Coleman Proctor, and Andrew Bender, Justice Dale Wainwright (Texas Supreme Court), and Justice Scott Brister (formerly of the Texas Supreme Court, now partner at Andrews Kurth).

Jan. 30, 2012 -- The trophy for the national champion moot court team will stay in Houston this year as South Texas College of Law emerged victorious over 15 other competitors in the annual tournament hosted by the University of Houston Law Center.  South Texas also claimed the title for “Best Brief” in the 2012 Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship held Jan. 25-28.

“It was a tremendous tournament,” said Jim Lawrence, director of the UH Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Institute which co-sponsored the competition with the law firm of Andrews Kurth. “I think Rob Sherwin (the coach from Texas Tech) posted on his blog a very accurate description of the championship.  He wrote ‘the level of competition, as it is every year, was incredibly fierce’ ” added Lawrence, who devised the point system used to determine the “best of the best” moot court programs in the country.

Sixteen advocacy programs earned their way to the championship competition by achieving outstanding results in major moot court tournaments. Previous winners are the University of Detroit – Mercy, John Marshall Law School, and Mississippi College School of Law.

This year’s problem involved criminal charges of negligence and jury tampering stemming from an industrial accident in which toxic chemicals were spilled into a river in violation of the Clean Water Act. The tournament was held at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse downtown with federal judges, state judges, and member of the local bar hearing arguments.

 The runner-up in the championship round was St. Louis University Law School. Semi-finalists were Florida Coastal School of Law and Stetson University College of Law. The “Best Speaker” trophy went to Alexander Landback of the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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