A moot court team from Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) recently earned first place honors at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s National Tournament, hosted by the Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, La. The Armstrong team is sponsored by the law firm of HunterMaclean, with offices in Savannah and Brunswick.
The AASU team featuring junior LaRon Dunham and senior William Grimm won first place in the written competition, beating out 19 other collegiate teams from across the country. Armstrong fielded three teams during the event, which took place January 14-15, 2011.
“We’re proud to sponsor such a successful team and congratulate Armstrong Atlantic State University on this outstanding accomplishment,” said Frank S. Macgill, managing partner at HunterMaclean.
Dunham, a junior from Pooler, Ga. majoring in Law and Society, and Grimm, a senior from Savannah studying Political Science, submitted an appellate brief for the petitioners in the fictional tournament case addressing same-sex marriage and the newly enacted health care law.
The briefs submitted in competition followed the U.S. Supreme Court rules governing format and utilized case precedent in the tournament problem. Judging was based on originality and creativity; the focus on relevant legal issues; use of supporting cases; and other authorities such as the health care law, effectiveness in addressing contrary arguments, clarity and organization, and overall writing style and appearance.
Dunham and Grimm placed among the top 16 teams in regional competition at the University of Tampa in November, leading up to the finals at Tulane. Armstrong fielded three teams in Tampa, where Phil Parham, a senior who is also from Pooler, Ga., placed eighth as an orator, out of 56 competitors.
Becky da Cruz, Armstrong Atlantic State University assistant professor of criminal justice, coached the teams representing Armstrong in the tournaments. She teaches a Moot Court class to prepare students for both oral arguments and written briefs pertaining to constitutional issues in a new case problem each year.
In 2007, Armstrong seniors Brian Dotson and Adam Morrison defeated 63 teams to bring home the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Championship. It was the first time that a University System of Georgia school had accomplished the feat.
The American Collegiate Moot Court Tournament is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the art of appellate advocacy and to prepare them for the rigors of law school. It allows students to showcase their public speaking skills and to demonstrate their ability to answer complex legal questions extemporaneously.
With offices in Savannah and Brunswick, HunterMaclean has extensive experience representing businesses and individuals in all areas of litigation as well as in corporate, tax, real estate, information technology, business and maritime law. The firm’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, banks, hospitals, maritime companies, professional service organizations, industrial development authorities and non-profit corporations. For more information about HunterMaclean, please call 912.236.0261 or visit www.huntermaclean.com.