Lexington, VA • Saturday, October 27, 2007
After over a month of oral arguments and judging, the 2007 John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Competition concluded with the final round on Friday, October 26 in the Millhiser Moot Court Room at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. Arif Noorani '09 was named Best Oralist and the Best Brief Award went to Jessica Berenyi '08 and Anna Ku '08.
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 involved a Second Amendment challenge to a state law in the fictional state of "Florabama" prohibiting hand gun possession.
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.
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 final round of oral arguments was judged this year by Judge James Browning of the District of New Mexico, Judge David Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia, and Judge Walter Kelley of the Eastern District of Virginia. The Best Brief Judges panel was comprised of Professor Brian Murchison, Professor Joan Shaughnessy, and Professor Benjamin Spencer.
The Davis Competition is named in honor of alumnus John W. Davis, who joined the law school as its third faculty member in 1897 and is regarded as one of the finest advocates of the 20th century. The administrators for this year's competition were third-year students Josh Autry and Pat Garry.
2007 Davis Moot Court Results
Best Oralist - Arif Noorani '09
Runner Up - Sean Whittington '08
Finalists - Jessica Berenyi '08 and Rachel Marriner '09
Best Brief - Jessica Berenyi '08 and Anna Ku '08
Runner Up - Megan Williams '09 and Kristen Hutchens '09
Nominees - Michael Chiusano '09 and Christine Kidwell '09; William McLean '09 and Jeanette Wei '09
The Moot Court Executive Board, chaired this year by David Hillman, 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.