MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Two West Virginia University College of Law students argued before the state’s highest court on April 12. One of them will now have their name engraved on a cherished trophy.
Second-year students Mattie Shuler and Cameron LeFevre were finalists in WVU Law’s annual George C. Baker Moot Court Competition. They argued before the Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in Charleston.
In the end, it was Shuler who was awarded the historic Baker Cup by the Justices.
"The Baker Cup finals gave Mattie and Cameron an amazing opportunity to argue in a historic courtroom before the Justices,” said Amy Cyphert, moot court advisor and lecturer in law. “We were transfixed watching their excellent arguments and I know the Justices were very impressed."
The 2022 Baker Cup problem focused on two legal issues that arose when an incarcerated appellant was denied certain dietary accommodations required by his faith and was also barred from sending mail about being denied these accommodations. The legal issues are whether an incarcerated person may sue under the Prison Litigation Reform Act for compensatory damages for a First Amendment violation in the absence of a physical injury and whether the appropriate standard of review for a First Amendment challenge to censorship of outgoing mail by a correctional facility is reasonable.
Shuler was born and raised in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. She graduated cum laude from Marshall University with a bachelor's degree in sociology, focusing her studies on labor relationships in environmentally-focused Appalachian businesses. She wants to contribute to West Virginia’s growth while pursuing a legal career in civil litigation and appellate advocacy.
LeFevre is from Berkeley County, West Virginia. He majored in political science and philosophy at WVU and was drawn to the law because of its use of logic, rhetoric and oration. LeFevre is interested in energy law, land use law and business transactions.
The Baker Cup competition is a program of the student Moot Court Board at WVU Law. The cup was first awarded in 1926 and 1927 to the Poffenbarger Club. The competition took a hiatus until 1968, when it was revived to become an annual tradition.
The competition is named for a prominent West Virginia citizen and jurist, George C. Baker (1862-1943), whose accomplishments included reforming the tax laws for coal, oil and gas leases resulting in millions of dollars in state income.