44th Walker Moot Court Competition Finals

The final round of the 44th Walker Moot Court Competition will be held Friday, April 17, 2015, in Worrell 1312 at 4:00 p.m.  The final round will showcase the top two first-year law students in the moot court competition.  Matt Cloutier will represent the Plaintiff and Elvira Nunez will represent the Defendant.  The distinguished panel of judges includes: Judge Richard Dietz of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Jill Wilson, education attorney at Brooks Pierce, and Dionne Jenkins, attorney for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board.

Following the competition, there will be a reception outside of the courtroom.

The summary of the case at issue is as follows:

During the 2013-2014 school year, Piper Padgett and Liam Lanier were students at Kennedy High School, a school located in Davie County School District.  Padgett was selected for the lead role of “Millie” in the drama club’s winter production, “Eight Weeks,” which was a romantic comedy.  Lanier acted as the student director, and Ms. Adler served as the faculty director of the production.  Play rehearsals commenced in January 2014.  “Eight Weeks” was performed at Kennedy High School on April 2-4, 2014.

Between January 2014 and April 2014, Liam Lanier made several verbal comments to or about Piper Padgett during school hours and/or school-related activities.  In addition, during that same time period and while at school, Lanier touched Padgett on more than one occasion.  Padgett alleged that the verbal and physical conduct, which occurred in front of other students, constituted sexual harassment.  Lanier testified that his conduct was merely typical high school behavior and that much of the conduct was in the context of the play. Padgett claimed that as a result of the alleged harassment, she experienced a decline in school performance and participation in school activities.  In addition, Padgett testified to some psychological problems about which she consulted a doctor.

Plaintiff Hope Padgett, as next friend of Piper Padgett, filed an action against Defendant Davie County School District, alleging student-on-student sexual harassment in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 (2012) (“Title IX”).  Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. In response, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the issues of whether the alleged harassment was severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive and whether it deprived Piper Padgett of access to educational benefits and opportunities.