Moot Court Scrimmage, 2017

By Beatriz Martinez

After months of preparation, the SHSU Moot Court team had their first competition at The University of Texas Arlington. The scrimmage had everyone very excited, as everyone was ready to give it their best. We have 3 teams composed of three veterans and three new members. It was the moment of truth where we would see how far our hard work and dedication would take us.

May it Please the Court, We represent SHSU- Moot Court Day 1
By Beatriz Martinez

As hopeful lawyers in training, the 6 of us headed to the University of Texas Arlington for our first Moot Court Competition of the year. Various universities gather together after around six months of preparation. One “problem case” has been given to them, arguing two different legal issues. In this case, the issues we are addressing are the Fifth and Eight Amendments. The Moot Court competitors take the time to study these cases as well as 8-10 supporting actual cases that they use in order to create their arguments. Later, they go to a school, often times a law school, to present their case to a panel of judges made up of law students, law professors, lawyers, and even an occasional judge. Competitors are scored depending on their presentation skills, their quick thinking, knowledge of the case at bar, supporting cases, and of course their arguments!

SHSU Moot Court, LEAP Center, UTA, TUMCA

Everyone was nervous, but we played it off with our cool, professional lawyer-like demeanor. We had all prepared to the best of our abilities and were ready to give it our best. After signing in, we scouted the school to find where our “courtrooms” were. During Moot Court competitions, the competitors do not know which side they will be representing, whether it be for the petitioner (the person appealing the lower court’s decision) or the respondent (the other side, of course!). There are three rounds from which the top 16 teams are chosen. These top teams would then advance to the second day of the competition.

As soon as everyone got their opponents, the competition began. It was a tumultuous time for all. After the last round ended, everyone gathered together in the common area for the final results of which of the 25 teams would be able to advance to the second day of competition as part of the Top 16 teams. We were excited to find out that Austin Taylor (a second-year competitor) and Kristyn Couvillion (a third-year competitor) had made it to the second day!

Moot Court Day 2
By Beatriz Martinez

After a long night of prepping, Kristyn and Austin headed back for the second round of competitions. We all got settled in for the coordinator to let us know who their competitors would be and which side they would have to argue. Of course, Kristyn and Austin used that extra time to get focused and continue their preparation in order to succeed in this next round.

SHSU Moot Court, LEAP Center, UTA, TUMCA

Meanwhile, the rest of us tried our best to help them as much as possible by going on a quick Starbucks run and took the opportunity to explore the University of Arlington as well. UTA just so happened to have similar spirit colors as ours with theirs being blue, orange, and white. They also had various interesting art pieces such as their spirit horses which they have scattered across campus and serve as a way to engage the students in art. There is one in particular that we liked the best (for obvious reasons) named “Dynamic” which we definitely were feeling at the moment. We also took a moment to take a picture with one of the many interesting fountains housed at UTA.

SHSU Moot Court, LEAP Center, UTA, TUMCA

Finally, we headed back to continue to cheer on our team. The results were in and the competitors were ready to accept the challenge ahead. Before the competition started, we took a picture of solidarity between the two teams.

It was a very close round with only a difference of 20 points. Sadly, our team did not advance more than that. As a consolation, we headed on to a Mediterranean Grill called Andalous, which had a variety of plates from different regions. The food was delicious and we greatly enjoyed not only the food but also the multitude of learning experiences we had gotten from the last two days. The SHSU team was more determined than ever to improve and do a lot better in our next competition at Texas A&M Law School on November 4th. For now, everyone was headed back to Huntsville to prepare, except for me since I had a flight to catch to meet the other LEAP Ambassadors in Washington D.C.


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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