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W&L Team Wins Inaugural Global Antitrust Invitational Moot Court Competition

A team of third-year law students from Washington and Lee University participated in the inaugural Global Antitrust Invitational Moot Court Competition, held Feb. 20-21 at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington.

David Johnson, Kyle Virtue, and Matthew Hale were awarded first place in the competition. The team also won the award for best brief.

Eight teams in all participated in the invitation-only competition, including teams from the University of Michigan Law School, Notre Dame Law School, George Washington University Law School, and the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

The problem for the competition involved a dispute between two cellular phone service providers. Johnson, Virtue and Hale wrote a brief on behalf of appellant Dominion Telecommunications, Inc. arguing that the company did not violate Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The district court found that Dominion had illegally monopolized the cellular services market by using its dominant size to force an upstart cellular company out of the market. The smaller upstart cried foul, but the ultimate question was whether consumers were actually harmed by the loss of one, small company from the market.

During the competition, the team went through five rounds of arguments before four different panels of judges. The final round was judged by the two top antitrust enforcement officials in the U.S. – the Asst. Attorney General in charge of the DOJ Antitrust Division, William Baer, and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez – as well as a highly respected federal court of appeals judge and antitrust expert, Douglas Ginsburg.

The Global Antitrust Institute Invitational is the only moot court competition devoted exclusively to antitrust law. Competing teams have the chance to not only compete in a federal circuit court, but also attend a private reception and network with an extensive list of litigation and antitrust professionals from the Washington, D.C. area.

W&L Law professors Jeff Miles ’73L and David Eggert, both of whom have extensive antitrust practice experience, helped prepare the team for this first ever competition.