Strong Showing for Second Years at Moot Court Competition; O’Brien and Dubus Win Top Awards

Lexington, VA • Monday, October 17, 2005

Second year law student William O’Brien received the Best Oralist award at this year’s Davis Moot Court competition. O’Brien competed against the other finalists, Camille Allan 2L, Jonathan Robbins 3L, and Christopher Bullard 3L in the final round on October 21, 2005 in the Moot Courtroom. Allan was named first runner-up.

The Best Brief award went to Joanna Dubus, also a second year law student. First runner-up honors in this category went to Christopher Price 2L and Josh Humphries 2L.

The John W. Davis Moot Court Competition, now in its twenty-sixth year at the Washington and Lee School of Law, is framed by a legal problem which second and third year law students respond to by submitting a brief and participating in oral arguments before a mock Supreme Court of the United States. The problem posed in this year’s competition involved an unsettled area of Fourth Amendment Law: Consent Searches. Specifically, can a roommate provide valid consent for law enforcement to search their shared premises when one roommate is present and objecting, or does such a search violates a defendant's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The problem was written by the Davis Administrators, Ryan Corle, 3L and Cavelle Johnston, 3L, who in addition to supervising the competition also served as judges in the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds. They were joined as judges in these rounds by Moot Court Executive Board members Katherine Tritschler 3L, Brett Twitty 3L, and Michael Bauer 3L.

Sixty students entered this year’s competition, and based on their brief and oral argument scores, twenty competitors advanced to the quarterfinal round. The top eight oralists advanced to the semifinal round, which was adjudicated by Professors Scott Sundby, Ronald Krotoszynski and Darryl Brown.

Presiding over the final rounds were the Honorable John Antoon, II, Judge of the United States District Court in the Middle District of Florida; the Honorable Frederick Pfarr Stamp, Jr., Judge of the United States District Court in the Northern District of West Virginia; and the Honorable Jack Tarpley Camp, Jr., Judge of the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia.  

Members of the Moot Court Executive Board judge the briefs submitted by the participants for content, grammar and blue booking. The Davis Administrators nominated the four highest scoring briefs for the Best Brief Award. Professors Ann Massie, Joan Shaughnessy and David Zaring selected the Best Brief winner from among the nominees.

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