Moot Court Tournament: Day Two at TTU Law

We knew coming into the tournament that we’d be at TTU Law on Saturday.  What we didn’t know was whether we would be participating.  Late Friday night, after three rounds of competition, we found that one of our teams (Kristyn and James) would, in fact, be competing on Saturday.  They had made a “play in” for the last spot in the “Sweet Sixteen” and their competition was scheduled for 8:00am.

They were scheduled to face a team from TCU, consisting of Luke Erwin and Becca Michelson.  We arrived at about 7:20 that morning, so there was some waiting to do, which we spent preparing for the contest…


We also took this time to teach Alex how to use the camera (a fortuitous time given Alex’s impending trip to Wisconsin next week).


…and she took some good photographs, including this one, which Austin photobombed!


We also spent some time waiting for the opposing team to change and otherwise prepare, so we remained flexible while the judges also waited.


As with all of the contests, the “debate” lasted 40 minutes, with both sides splitting the time for arguments. Kristyn led off for SHSU’s team…

Second_Day_Kristyn_Speaking_3_Web…and James closed…


When the debate was over, the students left the room to await the verdict. A few minutes later it came: With two judges voting in favor of SHSU, the Bearkat team advanced!

This made for an exciting morning, which was amped up further when the students had just a few minutes to get to their next contest.  Their 9:00 am contest was against the number one ranked team from Texas A&M.  Coached by Ph.D. candidate Nick Conway and consisting of competitors Kristina Smith and Lakshmi Achari, the TAMU team had prepared extensively.  It showed.


The Bearkats worked hard and turned in an impressive argument, but the judges opted for the Aggie team.

With this defeat, the SHSU teams were officially out of the race, but there was still much to do.  Tournament officials gave trophies to those participating in the “Sweet Sixteen” and James and Kristyn were presented with theirs.

Kristyn_James_Awards_Auditorium_WebOther competitors also received trophies.

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All the SHSU participants then retired to one of the law-school rooms for photos, where they took photos…of Chelsea with her gavel


…Kristyn with her trophy…

Kristyn_Award_2….Chelsea with her coach, Jean Loveall…


…”Sweet Sixteen” participants James and Kristyn….

James_Kristyn_Awards_2_Web…Chelsea, James, and Kristyn…

Chelsea_James_Kristyn_Awards_2_Web…and the entire team!


As it turned out, the Aggie team–which had defeated James and Kristyn–made it to the finals against one of three UTD teams present.  The finals were formal, with the judges entering as everyone rose…


The Tournament Director, Professor Robert Sherwin, served as one of five judges in the final rounds, and Tech students introduced all the judges and made some comments before the final competition.


All the competitors in the final deserved to be there, presenting themselves well.  In the end, TAMU fell just short in a very close contest.  The UTD team, consisting of Alexandra Noll and Blake Eaton and coached by Anne Dutia, had actually been defeated by SHSU in the UNT Scrimmage two weeks ago, but they were better prepared today, and their preparation paid off with the title of tournament champions!

Champs_JudgesThe end of the tournament was a time of photo-taking, with the runner-ups also getting photos with the judges…


…and a group photos of the champions and runner ups…

Winners_Judges_Web…and a variety of combinations of winners, coaches, and judges.

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The SHSU students got in the action a bit, speaking with some of the judges and TTU faculty/staff.

Campbell_Tyra_Judges_WebThe end of the competition marked the end of SHSU’s first-ever moot court team’s first competition in the American Moot Court Association’s tournament process. It was a great experience, exposing us to a fine law school, current law students, and some great pre-law undergraduates from across the state of Texas (and beyond)!

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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