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LU takes three Top Speaker awards, advances to Quarterfinals in regional Moot Court Tournament

Moot Court winnersTwo Lamar University student teams participated in the Texas A&M Law School Regional Moot Court Tournament November 4-5, taking three Top Speaker awards and advancing to the Quarterfinals. The tournament marked the first time Lamar University has participated in a regional, national-qualifying moot court tournament.

“Lamar continued its impressive record against extremely tough moot court teams,” said Craig Tahaney, instructor in the Department of Political Science, who serves as faculty sponsor and coach for the LU teams.

Universities represented at the tournament included Howard Payne University, University of North Texas, University of Texas-Arlington, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas A&M University, Baylor, Texas Christian University, University of the Ozarks, Sam Houston State University, and the United States Air Force Academy. A total of 31 teams and 62 students participated in the regional tournament.

The Lamar teams and individual members received several notable tournament accolades. Lamar University had the most students make the Top 15 best overall speakers of the universities in the event.

Moot Court winnersIndividual awards were given to the Top 15 best overall speakers. Receiving gavels for their accomplishments were LU students Siara Dodds, a senior political science major from Beaumont who ranked third overall; Emily Lawrence, a junior political science major from Orange who ranked fifth overall; and Francisco Alvarez, a senior corporate communications major with a minor in political science from Port Arthur who ranked sixth overall.

Both Lamar teams advanced to elimination rounds and, after preliminaries, the team of Alvarez and Robert Root, a junior political science major from Vidor, were the No. 8 seeded team of the tournament and the team of Dodds and Lawrence were the No. 12 seeded team. The team of Alvarez and Root defeated a team from Texas A&M University to advance to the quarterfinal round and lost in a very close match (2-1 decision) to the No. 1 seeded team from Texas A&M University. The team of Dodds and Lawrence defeated the No. 5 seeded team from University of Texas-Arlington to advance to the quarterfinal round then fell to No. 4 seeded team from Howard Payne University. The Howard Payne team advanced to win the tournament.

Semifinalist teams are guaranteed a bid to the national tournament. “While not confirmed, six teams from the Texas A&M Regional Moot Court Tournament will likely receive bids to the national competition,” Tahaney said.

Based on the tournament director’s calculations of ballot scores, Lamar University’s team of Francisco Alvarez and Robert Root will likely receive a bid to attend the American Moot Court Association National Tournament to be held January 19-20, 2018 at the University of North Texas School of Law in Dallas.

The American Moot Court Association President will send official bids to national competition via email in mid-December, Tahaney said.