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Moot Court students dominate at state, regional levels


November 30, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students demonstrated their stellar advocacy skills over the weekend by winning the Jenckes Competition against the University of Arizona and by besting four other law-school teams to become the regional champions in the National Moot Court Competition.

In the annual battle for the Jenckes Cup, 3Ls Tyler Carrell and Jimmy Cool brought the metal back to Tempe by being well-organized and by anchoring their arguments to the record in a superior manner, according to the judges. The pair represented the defense in a case patterned after the prosecution of Utah polygamist Warren Jeffs during the Friday event at the College of Law.

Carrell and Cool were coached by Shawn Aiken (Class of `83), who twice during his law-school tenure won the Jenckes Cup, a closing argument competition sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers. Aiken was assisted by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville (Class of `79) and attorneys Richard Gerry (Class of 78), Jim Padish and Ty Taber.

Two teams from the College of Law competed in the National Moot Court Competition regionals on Friday and Saturday at Phoenix School of Law. Third-year law students Rob Gordon and Sam Efird won the competition, and Gordon was named the Best Oralist, while 3L Bryce Burnham and 2Ls Justin Scorza and Nelson Mixon took the prize for second best regional brief and won a spot in the semifinals for their oral advocacy. Gordon and Efird will compete in the 60th annual National Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the New York City Bar Association, Feb. 1-4 in New York City.

"Both ASU teams sailed into the semifinals undefeated," said coach C. Dean Richard, a moot court expert. "To get there, one of our teams defeated a team from the University of Colorado with the best brief, and our other team's second-place overall brief helped it defeat a team from the University of Utah with the best oralist in the preliminary rounds. ASU was the only school with both of its teams advancing to the semis."

Volunteers who coached and critiqued the teams include professors Paul Bender, Michael Berch, Carissa Byrne Hessick, Sue Chesler, Andy Hessick and Amy Langenfeld; Gary Birnbaum, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Program Development; and Doug Sylvester, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development. Attorneys John Gray, Jen Green, Amy Kalman, John Napper and Mikel Steinfeld (Class of `06) and Arizona Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales also volunteered at the event.

Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder@asu.edu
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Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law