OGDEN, Utah – A Weber State University moot court team recently won the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) Western Regional Championship Tournament at Long Beach, Calif.
Danielle Stout from Tremonton, Utah, and Veronica Lynagh from Parma, Ohio, represented WSU in the team competition and were seeded eighth in the eight-team elimination round. Stout and Lynagh defeated three teams from Patrick Henry College, the two-time defending national moot court champions from Virginia, on their way to winning the regional tournament and qualifying for nationals. Additionally, Lynagh was one of eight students to win a top individual orator award, which was based on her point totals throughout the tournament.
Moot court competition is simulated legal argumentation before a hypothetical appellate court. Students argue both sides of a fictional case and are judged based on their ability to communicate and the complexity their arguments.
"The students have to know cases referenced within cases, which means knowing approximately 200 cases rather well," said Frank Guliuzza, Department of Political Science chair and the team's coach. "It's really intense."
The regional championship qualifies the WSU duo to compete at the 64-team ACMA 2007 National Tournament Jan. 19-20 in Virginia Beach, Va. Historically, WSU teams have fared well in the national competition, finishing in the top 10 seven times, including a third-place finish in 2005.
According to Guliuzza, the experience also benefits the students, who have law school aspirations. "What I've found is that participating in moot court does two things for our students," he said. "First, it helps them get admitted to law school, and second, it helps them do well once they get there."
Nearly 170 moot court teams competed in six ACMA regional tournaments this year.
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