MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—A team from the West Virginia University College of Law recently won the best brief award on the way to a quarterfinal finish in a regional round of the National Moot Court Competition.
The college’s National Moot Court Team is made up of third-year law students Britany Dolan, Emily Ford, Julian Pecora, Garrett Spiker and Chris Weed. They competed in two groups at the National Moot Court Competition Region IV Round held at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, in November.
Ford, Weed and Pecora won the best brief award, beating teams from 18 law schools from Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia. It is WVU‘s first best brief award at this competition in more than 20 years.
Spiker and Dolan were among the top eight teams to reach the regional’s quarterfinal round. They are the third WVU Law team in 10 years to advance that far in the National Moot Court Competition.
“This group of students showed the other teams and judges what we already know: WVU Law students are bright, talented, and driven,” said Amy Cyphert, lecturer in law and moot court advisor. “Their hard work and the hard work of their coaches and volunteer mooters paid off and we are all incredibly proud of them.”
The problem at this year’s National Moot Court Competition was whether the First Amendment prohibits the government from penalizing an undocumented immigrant under a false statute that makes it a crime for a noncitizen to protest publicly in support of changing U.S. law.
WVU Law’s National Moot Court team is coached by Gordon Copland and Liz Stryker ‘17 from Steptoe & Johnson's Bridgeport, West Virginia, office. The team was mooted by Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Joanna Tabit ‘86 with attorneys Tim Bailey ‘91 and Lee Javins ‘94 of Bailey, Javins & Carter; Anthony Majestro of Powell & Majestro; Ray Franks ‘93 and Jonathan Marshall ‘07 of Bailey & Glasser; and John Meadows of Steptoe & Johnson.
WVU Law’s moot court program is supported, in part, by the law firm Bailey, Javins & Carter.
Founded in 1950, the National Moot Court Competition is sponsored by the New York City Bar Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers. One of the longest-running moot court competitions in the country, it promotes the appellate advocacy arts of intellectual rigor, legal research and persuasive argument. Every year, over 120 law schools compete in regional rounds throughout the United States, with winners advancing to the final rounds in New York.