Based on its record in moot court competitions in 2008-09, LSU Law will be invited as one of the top 16 moot court programs in the country to the National Moot Court Championship in Houston to be held January 2010. LSU is the No. 12 program in the country according to the University of Houston Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Institute, which ranked schools based on results from more than 60 different moot court competitions during the 2008-09 school year.
LSU is the only school from Louisiana and the Southeastern Conference to be invited to the competition.
“Our Moot Court/Trial Advocacy Program is one of the shining stars of the LSU Law Center. We are incredibly proud of our students’ accomplishments and are grateful to the many people who contribute to their success,” said Chancellor Jack Weiss. “Their ability to compete and be successful on the national level is another sign of our continued commitment to the LSU Law tradition of demanding but personal legal education.”
The Moot Court/Trial Ad Program celebrated four first-place victories, five top individual honors, and record participation numbers during the 2008-09 academic year.
Todd Bruno, director of the LSU Moot Court/Trial Advocacy Program, said that the students are consistently recognized for more than just their performance in moot court and trial advocacy.
“Whenever one of the Law Center’s programs is considered one of the top programs in the country, you feel pretty strongly that your students are doing something the right way,” Bruno said. “The national rankings compiled by the University of Houston collected data from a myriad of competitions in 2008-09, covering just about every substantive area of law that one could imagine, and based on objective criteria, LSU Law ranks right there with schools like Duke, Columbia, and SMU. Our students continue to be recognized not just for excellence in their advocacy skills, but faculty and attorneys from around the nation frequently comment on the level of professionalism and ethics displayed by LSU Law moot court and trial teams,” added Bruno.
LSU’s Trial teams earned first-place finishes at the National Pretrial Advocacy Competition, the LSBA Mock Trial Competition, and the Southern Regional Round of the ABA Arbitration Competition, while the Moot Court Appellate Team was crowned champion of the National Tax Moot Court Competition for the second year in a row.
LSU Law students swept the four individual awards at the National Pretrial Advocacy Competition, which was host to a number of schools ranked in the top 10 in Trial Advocacy by the U.S. News & World Report. LaToya Jordan won “Best Attorney,” an award given to the top individual advocate at the LSBA Mock Trial Competition. Charlotte Youngblood received the award for Best Overall Advocate, prevailing over more than 200 individuals, at the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. David Conachen was named the Outstanding Individual Advocate at the National Tax Moot Court Competition.
LSU Law students also captured the top three individual awards at the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Competition, marking the first time in the 16-year history of the event that one school had individuals win both the award for Outstanding Oral Advocate of the Competition and the award for first runner-up. Peyton Lambert and David Borghardt won these awards respectively. Also for the first time in the history of the competition, Lambert won both the awards for Outstanding Oral Advocate of the Competition and the Championship Round.
The program achieved international success as well, with LSU Law students Erin Bray, Sara Donohue, Carmen Hebert, Andrew Lilly, and Adam Savoie winning Best Brief for the Claimant – Honorable Mention at the Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria.
Finally, the program boasted increased participation numbers for its Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition, with 90 students, or half the second-year class, participating. Fifty-seven second-year law students, the largest group ever, participated in the Opening Statement Competition; and 72 students, again the largest amount ever, participated in the Ira S. Flory Mock Trials at LSU.
Faculty members and coaches, many of whom are LSU Law graduates, worked with the teams throughout the year. Those assisting this year were:
Professor Paul Baier
Professor Todd Bruno
Professor Bill Corbett
Professor John Church
Professor John Devlin
Professor Ray Diamond
Professor Mark Hoch
Professor Susan Kalinka
Professor Lee Ann Lockridge
Professor Ken Murchison
Professor Christopher Pietruszkiewicz
Professor Kathryn Simino (’87)
Assistant State Attorney General David Caldwell
Julie Baxter (’05)
John-Ed Bishop (’08)
Kelly Brian (’07)
Alexander Burns (’07)
Dallon Bush (’04)
James Carver (’89)
Charles Ellis (’91)
The Honorable Guy Holdridge (’78)
M. Michelle Marney (’00)
Jenny Phillips (’04)
Kathryn Sheely (’06)
Melissa Morse Shirley (’97)
Dean Sutherland (’75)
Laranda Moffett Walker (’07)