DENTON (UNT), Texas - UNT students Tiffany Warner and Chris Taylor won two top 10 speaker awards at the national American Collegiate Moot Court Association tournament, which was held in Virginia Beach, Va., in January.
Warner, a senior English major from Renton, Wash., was named the second best speaker at the tournament out of 128 competitors, while Taylor, a senior political science major from Fort Worth, was named the third best speaker.
Of the 162 teams of two students that sought bids to the ACMCA national tournament, 64 teams were selected to attend. The teams represented 30 colleges and universities from 25 states. UNT had six teams from its Moot Court Squad participating in the tournament - the largest number of teams from the Southwest Region of the ACMCA and the third largest number of teams from all of the colleges and universities.
The ACMCA and its state associations were founded to advance the legal and analytical skills of undergraduate college students who plan to attend law school. During a moot court, a simulation of an appellate court's proceedings, teams of two students examine a legal problem and present arguments for both sides of the case to a group of appellate judges. The judges review the students' arguments and ask them questions about the case.
All first- and second-year law students at American colleges and universities must participate in a moot court activity.
The teams in the ACMCA tournament argued the fictional case of William DeNolf, Bobby Bronner and Chester Comerford v. The United States, which focuses on whether the President has the authority under Article II of the United States Constitution and/or the Authorization of Military Force to conduct warrantless surveillance of American citizens.
In the case, DeNolf, Bronner and Comerford were arrested and charged with conspiring to bomb a branch of a bank. They argued their Fourth Amendment rights had been violated because the National Security Agency had monitored their e-mail communication without a warrant.
The UNT teams of Lauren Molidor, a junior political science major from Tyler, and Brittany Smith, a junior political science major from Caddo Mills; Nathan Giles, a junior political science major from Spokane, Wash., and Emily Ownby, a senior political science major from Plano; and Taylor and Andrew Jung, a senior general studies major from Barrington, Ill., all advanced to the first round of eliminations in the ACMCA national tournament. Taylor and Jung then advanced to the top 16 teams before being defeated.
In addition, Giles and Ownby placed third overall in the written brief portion of the competition.
Kimi King, associate professor of political science and Moot Court adviser, says this year's tournament "was so exciting because the team had time for extracurricular activities in nearby Washington, D.C., that related to their future careers."
"The team heard oral arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Texas death penalty cases currently pending, and they had the chance to meet with former Attorney General John Ashcroft. What an amazing way to start the beginning of their legal careers," she says.
The Moot Court Squad will next compete at a Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association tournament March 2-3 at UNT. UNT is the only college or university without a law school that has been asked to host a TUMCA tournament this year.
UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108
Contact: Nancy Kolsti (940) 565-3509