Campus News

UGA law school advocacy teams sweep intrastate competition

Teams post other strong finishes internationally and nationally

Athens, Ga. – Recently, University of Georgia School of Law moot court teams finished the 2015-16 advocacy season with a sweep of all awards in the Intrastate Moot Court Competition, as the No. 5 team in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and as a national quarterfinalist and the Best Brief Award winner at the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition.

Each year, the state’s five law schools field two teams in the Intrastate Moot Court Competition. This year, second-year students Michael D. Parrish, Troy A. Stram and Benjamin P. Stell were named champions of the tournament and captured the Best Brief Award. Stram also was named Best Oralist.

The second UGA team, comprised of second-year students Callen A. Carroll, Thomas D. Church and Mary Grace Griffin, finished the contest as semifinalists. Both teams were coached by third-year students Marshall S. Sims and Jacob M. “Jake” Ware.

Notably, Georgia Law has won 12 out of the last 15 intrastate competitions.

The Georgia Law team competing in the 23rd Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot posted the school’s best finish ever in this global courtroom battle. Third-year student Stephen D. Morrison and second-year students Ronald F. Chicken, Emily V. Cox and Bethany L. Edmondson advanced to the quarterfinals and placed among the top five teams in the world.

Significantly, they were the last American law school team in this international competition of more than 300 teams. They defeated teams from Allameh Tabataba’i University (Iran), the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Belgrade (Serbia).

The Georgia Law students were coached by Sara Burns, an associate in the Atlanta office of King & Spalding. Morrison also served as the student coach.

After winning the regional round of the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition earlier in the year, third-year students D. Tyler “Ty” Adams and Kathleen B. “Kate” Hicks posted a strong showing for Georgia Law by finishing as quarterfinalists at the national tier of the tournament. This pair also won the Best Brief Award of the national competition, and they defeated teams from Seton Hall, Northwestern and Liberty universities.

Thomas V. Burch, an instructor at Georgia Law, served as the faculty adviser for the National Appellate Advocacy team.

“The advocacy program at Georgia’s flagship law school reflects its steadfast commitment to providing first-rate legal training to its students,” Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “This year’s members honor a longstanding tradition of excellence. I am grateful to the students, their coaches and the law school’s alumni and alumnae for their hard work in support of this nationally and internationally renowned program.”

Georgia Law Advocacy Director Kellie Casey said she is terribly proud of all of these teams.

“Every year, it is especially important for us to capture the state’s bragging rights in the intrastate competition,” she said. “The top five finish at the Vis tournament is phenomenal, and the ABA team won their region and finished near the top in the national contest while taking home the Best Brief Award. These students represented our school well, and that is all I can ask.”