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Moot Court Appellate Advocacy and Negotiations Results Announced

The 2013 Moot Court competitions at Washington and Lee University School of Law are well underway, with the two events already concluded.

The finals of the Robert J. Grey Negotiations competition were held in late September. The team of Donavan Eason ’15L and James Pickle ’15L won the competition. Marc Mignault ’15L and Jeb Byrne ’15L were the runners-up.

The Negotiation Competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division, helps students develop practical legal skills and emphasizes teamwork and the ability to resolve disputes in a negotiation setting. During the competition, teams of students acting as lawyers for opposing parties receive confidential information about how they can best represent their clients’ interests. The teams work together in a limited time frame to find a compromise that is acceptable to both of their clients.

The event was judged this year by the competition’s namesake and W&L Law alumnus, Robert J. Grey, Jr., Esq. of Hunton & Williams LLP. The other judges were Lisa L. Schenkel, Esq. of Schenkel & Donaldson and Joseph H. Carptenter, IV, Esq. of Norfolk Southern Corporation.

The Moot Court Board named the competition in honor of Grey, who is past president of the American Bar Association and a member of the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees, because of his extensive experience in dispute resolution. Grey’s practice has focused on administrative matters before state and federal agencies, mediation and dispute resolution, and legislative representation of clients.

The finals of the John W. Davis Appellate Adovcacy Competition were held on Oct. 25. Krystal Swendsboe ’15L was named best oralist and Paul Wiley ’15L was the runner-up. Best brief went to Elliott Harding ’15L and Haley White ’15L, with second place going to Krista Consiglio ’15L and Paul Wiley ’15L.

During the Davis 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 final round of oral arguments was judged this year by the Hon. Rhesa H. Barksdale, United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Hon. Stephanie D. Thacker, United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Hon. Mark S. Davis, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Davis Competition is named in honor of alumnus John W. Davis, who joined the law school briefly as its third faculty member in 1896. Widely regarded as one of the finest advocates of the 20th century, Davis argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 139 times before his death in 1955.

The Moot Court Executive Board, chaired this year by Benjamin Wilson ’14L, administers all competitions for the Moot Court Program, which includes the Davis Moot Court Competition, Mock Trial, and Client Counseling. For more information about the Moot Court Board and upcoming competitions, please visit http://law.wlu.edu/mootcourt.