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W&L BLSA Mock Trial, Moot Court Teams Take Top Spots at Regional Competition

The Moot Court and Mock Trial teams from Washington and Lee University School of Law had a very successful trip to the National Black Law Students Association Mid-Atlantic competition, held this past weekend in Portsmouth, Va.

W&L’s mock trial teams took first and second place in the competition. One of the School’s moot court teams finished in first place as well, with one of its members, Bret Reed ’14L, being named best oralist for the competition.

The W&L mock trial teams faced each other in the final round, which was judged by Portsmouth Chief Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Melvin and Frank Santoro, a preeminent bankruptcy lawyer in Chesapeake, Virginia. The winning team included Samantha Brewster-Owens ’14L, Markus Murden ’16L, Christina Sacco ’15L, and Joshua LaGuerre ’14L. The second place team, which trailed the first place team by only one point, included Tunde Cadmus ’15L, Emelia Hall ’16L, Yasin Amba ’16L, and Ryan Redd ’15L.

Maisie Osteen ’14L, who helped coach the mock trial team along with Dominik Taylor ’14L and Prof. Beth Belmont, reported that Judge Melvin remarked at the end of the final round that the “competition had restored his faith in the quality of today’s legal education and the future of our profession.”

W&L also took first place in the moot court appellate advocacy competition. Competing in the finals for W&L were Bret Reed 14L and Hernandez Stroud 15L. Reed was named “Best Oralist” for the competition with 88 points, besting Stroud by only two points.

W&L’s other moot court team included Hector DeJesus ’16L and Terence Austin ’15L. They were seeded second out of 16 teams following the preliminary rounds, trailing only their W&L counterparts. Unfortunately they were eliminated in the quarterfinal round. The moot court teams were coached by Teressa Campbell ’14L, Brian G. Buckmire ’14L, and Prof. Brian Murchison.

The students received support and guidance from a number of other W&L Law professors including Joan Shaughnessy, David Bruck, Jon Shapiro, J.D. King, Margaret Hu, Tim MacDonnell, Johanna Bond, Victoria Shannon, Jill Fraley, and Sam Calhoun, as well as W&L alumnus and alumni affairs executive director Beau Dudley ’74, ’79L.

The three placing teams now advance to the national competition finals, to be held in March in Milwaukee, WI.