Posted: April 17th, 2011
First-year law student Emma Maddux (’13) won the 40th annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition at the Wake Forest University School of Law on Friday, April 15.
Arguing a fictitious student-on-student sexual harassment case in violation Title IX, Maddux was able to successfully argue in favor of the plaintiff. Fellow first-year law student Candace Johnson (’13) argued for the Forest County School District.
The competition’s final round was judged by the Honorable Ralph Walker, former North Carolina Court of Appeals judge, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Voorhees, Western District of North Carolina, and U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder, Middle District of North Carolina. Each of the judges was highly complimentary of both finalists.
“I thought you had good eye contact, which you continued to maintain with all the judges,” Judge Walker told Maddux before delivering their decision. “You effectively got back on track after questions and that’s a challenge in reality because that’s what happens. I thought you argued with feeling for your client and a little passion never hurts. I thought you had a good balance and that you weaved in the facts and the law in very well.”
Judge Walker added that the competition was very close. “We commend both of you,” he said.
Judge Schroeder said: “I thought both of you did a great job. You all were excellent.”
And Judge Voorhees added that he also thought both students did an excellent job. “I don’t have any constructive criticisms of either one,” he said.
He told Johnson: “I thought you were particularly quick with your facts and very articulate and presented salient points. You were clear and persuasive. You smiled at an appropriate point and a flash of humor is never out of place. It shows you are having a conversation with the court… It was a pleasure to hear from you.”
The event, which is held each spring for first-year law students, fielded 92 initial competitors. The competition is held each spring for first-year law students. Each student wrote a brief and argued twice, once “on-brief” and once “off-brief.” After two weeks, 20 students were invited to join Moot Court, and the top 16 competed in the following week in an elimination tournament leading up to the final round.
Maddux was not the only student to take home an award. Distinctions for Best Brief, Best Oralist, including runners up, and the Debbie Parker Memorial Moot Court Service Award were also awarded.
Maddux won the Best Brief award, while Elliott Cassidy was the runner-up. The Best Oralist award went to Morgan McCall, with Johnson earning runner-up. The Debbie Parker Moot Court Service Award went to Katie Serfas (’11), who won the competition when she was a first-year student and chaired the competition during her second year.
The 2011 Walker Moot Court Competition co-chairs are Leslie Cockrell and Murphy Horne.
New first-year members of the Moot Court Board are Adam White, Anna Dowdy, Candace Johnson, Colleen Fox, Dana Mullen, Elliott Cassidy, Emma Maddux, Kathryn Hatcher, Kelley Chan, Mandy Abbott, Mary Beth Usher, Mona Farzad, Morgan McCall, Nicolas Harper, Sarah Riedl, Shannon Weist, Andrew Smith, S. Cooper Hawley, Michael Levine and Skyler Walker.
For 40 years, the Wake Forest Moot Court Board has conducted a moot court competition for first-year law students. In 1998, the Moot Court Board named this competition the George K. Walker Moot Court Competition in honor of Professor George Walker’s long-standing support of the Wake Forest Moot Court program.
The Debbie Parker Moot Court Service Award is an honor granted to either a member of the Moot Court Board or a participant in the Walker Moot Court Competition who exemplifies throughout the competition a spirit of dedication and service to Wake Forest University School of Law, as well as compassion and cooperation with his or her fellow students.
For more information on Wake Forest’s intramural Moot Court competitions, click here.