Holy Cross Moot Court Teams Headed to National Tournament

November 30th, 2012 by Kristine Maloney


Back row (left to right): Andrea Kelble ‘16, Peter Walsh ‘13, John M. O’Donnell ‘04 (coach), and Bart LeFaso ’16. Middle row (left to right): Brianna Mora ‘16, Vania Cornelio ‘15, Bethany Fogerty ‘16, Alexis Beyerlein ‘13, Brett Gannon ‘16, Joseph Dudley ’16, and Payton Shubrick ’13. Front row (left to right): Lauren Kuehn ‘13, Kathryn Servizio ‘16 , and Christine Fimognari ’15. Taken at the regional qualifying tournament at Fitchburg State University earlier this month.

With strong finishes in regional tournaments this fall, four two-person moot court teams from the College of the Holy Cross have qualified to compete in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s National Competition from Jan. 18 – 19, 2013 at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach. The Holy Cross teams are among only 80 nationwide, from a field of more than 300, to advance to the national tournament.

Coached by John M. O’Donnell ’04, the Moot Court teams’ four bids to the national competition this year ties the school record. The first two bids were secured by captain Alexis Beyerlein ’13 and Andrea Thompson ’15, and Michael Bender ’15 and Emily Sawicki ’15 at a regional qualifying tournament at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. In addition, Sam Marth ’16 finished as the tenth highest ranked attorney of the entire competition.

The second two bids were secured by Lauren Kuehn ’13 and Payton Shubrick ’13, and Bethany Fogerty ’16 and Andrea Kelble ’16 at a regional qualifying tournament at Fitchburg State University.

Holy Cross joined the American Moot Court Association in 2003 and has enjoyed much success. Erin Robert ’06 and Elizabeth Letak ‘06 finished as national runners-up in 2003 and 2004. In 2009, Katie Manzi ’08 and Tania Mistretta ’08 finished as the overall first and second place orators at the National Tournament in Iowa, the first time any school had claimed the top two positions. In 2009, Katherine Andrew was ranked the top orator at the Nationals, giving Holy Cross the top spot two years in a row.

Moot Court is a form of legal debate that pits two students from a school against another team of two. The competitors debate issues of law in front of a panel of judges, usually real life attorneys and judges, who score the competitors based on their knowledge of case law, ability to think on their feet and forensic skills. This year’s case involves affirmative action and first amendment rights on college campuses.

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