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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

News Release

For Immediate Release

News contact:

Jenni Huffenberger, UTD, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]

UTD Moot Court Team Takes Top Honors,
Individual Awards at Regional Tournament

RICHARDSON, Texas (April 7, 2004) — The moot court team at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) took the top overall prize and several individual awards at one of the largest regional moot court competitions ever held in the state over the weekend. The contest was the first of its kind to be held on the UTD campus.

Moot court involves a simulated legal argument before a hypothetical appellate court where students work in teams of two to prepare arguments based on actual legal precedents for both sides of an issue. In competition, the teams are questioned by one or more “judges” and must be able to respond quickly with well–reasoned legal arguments. The topic changes each year; this year students argued a case dealing with the right of privacy and due process of law.

Twenty-nine teams of 58 students from eight Texas universities participated in the UTD tournament. Texas State District Court Judge Bill Coker, who has been a jurist in Texas for more than 30 years, was one of the judges of the competition.

The UTD team of seniors Elizabeth Brockey and Kimberly Phillips won the overall competition against a team from the University of North Texas (UNT). Two other UTD teams made it to the quarterfinals. In addition, three of the top 10 speaker awards went to UTD students, with Brockey ranking third, senior Matthew Maggard fifth and sophomore Craig Blum ninth. The first and second place speakers hailed from UNT.

At the conclusion of the contest, the top 10 advocates in the Texas undergraduate moot court competitions for the entire academic year were named. Phillips was ranked fifth, and Brockey was ranked ninth. The top five teams in the Texas competitions for the year also were announced and included the team of seniors Christopher Allen and Tim Boles, which was ranked fifth overall.

Other UTD moot court team members include seniors Vaniecy Brumfield and Ausra Laurusaite and juniors Basheer Benhalim, Lindsey Overley, Joshua Smith and Erik Wendland. All are government majors, with the exception of Phillips, who is studying criminal justice, and Overley, who is majoring in psychology.

Moot court began at UTD two years ago and is supervised by Dr. Anthony Champagne, a professor of government and politics and the pre-law student advisor. UTD has been recognized at several moot court competitions at tournaments, including those held at Baylor University, Hardin-Simmons University, Texas Tech University and Texas Wesleyan University.

Other universities participating in the UTD tournament included Hardin–Simmons University, Howard Payne University, Texas A&M University, the University of Dallas, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at San Antonio.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.


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