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Members of Moot Court Team advance to National Tournament

Laura Haley
Staff Writer

Recently, the College’s Moot Court team participated in The American Moot Court Associations’ official Midwest Regional Tournament held on Nov. 17 and 18 on campus. The tournament set-up consisted of three preliminary rounds on Friday followed by four elimination rounds the next day.

“My partner and I competed in the Wooster regional and presented our arguments in three rounds on Friday, and beyond that, we competed in a number of elimination rounds that Saturday,” stated Coral Ciupak ’19 who concluded the tournament in the semifinals with her partner Shelley Grostefon ’18.

The team of Cami Steckbeck ’19 and Jordan Griffith ’19 won the Saginaw Valley Regional Tournament this past weekend, emerging from the final round as champions.

Maha Rashid ’19 and Heather Hartman ’21 fell short in the finals, but collected second place, qualifying for advancement into the 2018 National Tournament alongside first place winners Steckbeck and Griffith. Partners Brianna Schmidt ’20 and Dawson Honey ’19; Ciupak and Grostefon; Tolly Colby ’20 and Oria Daughtery ’21 all qualified for nationals as well.

The College’s Moot Court program is ranked second in the country and was capable of qualifying five of their 12 partnerships.

Within the competition, students simulated arguments of both sides of a hypothetical case before a theoretical U.S. Supreme Court. This approach is designed to allow students to use methods similar to those in state and federal appellate courts for more real replications. Moot Court consists of two-person teams performing oral arguments, while each team has one member acting as either a petitioner or a respondent. Teams were judged on their knowledge of the case, response to questions, forensic skill, courtroom demeanor and their overall presentation of the argument.

To gear up for the National Tournament, Moot Court will be practicing several exercises such as closely examining case problems to conducting practice rounds in front of local Wooster attorneys. Open to any College of Wooster student, Moot Court is for those fascinated in the law or debate. Structured around the U.S. Supreme Court, Moot Court focuses on constitutional corrections and considers whether incidents violate the constitution drawing specifically from court cases.

“My favorite aspect of Moot is being asked questions during argument by attorneys. It always keeps you on your toes and it keeps Moot exciting,” said Rashid.

“My favorite part about Moot Court is developing with your partner a strong, concise argument that is unique to you and presenting that in a way that is not only understandable but compelling; the license you take with it is very validating and often empowering,” stated Ciupak, a recipient of an Individual Orator Award.

The College’s Moot Court team will compete at the 2018 National Tournament in January at the University of Texas Dallas College of Law.

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