Walker Competition

Lauren Emery (’16) wins 43rd annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition

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Alexis Iffert & Lauren Emery with Dean Morant at the competition

Lauren Emery (’16)  won the 43rd annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition final round held at Wake Forest University School of Law on Thursday, April 17.

The final round showcases the top two first-year law students in the moot court competition. Arguing a fictitious case about whether a university’s refusal to field a women’s golf team violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Emery was representing Plaintiff Pamela Powell.

Alexis Iffert (’16) represented the Defendant Dobson Technical University.

The distinguished panel of judges included Christine Bishoff (’04) of the North Carolina Justice Center and formerly of the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Judge Jim Gale of the North Carolina Business Court and Professor Rhoda Billings (’66), a retired Wake Forest Law professor who became Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1985 and served as the first female president of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). Billings received the university’s highest honor, the Medallion of Merit, during the Founders’ Day Convocation on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

The judges were highly complimentary of both finalists.

“We asked some very hard questions and I was very impressed,” Bishoff said before the decision was announced.  ”Overall you both did a great job.”

Gale added, “That you did well in this case is extraordinary. I hope you have a true appreciation for the process and I hope you have tremendous respect for each other. It’s also difficult for us as judges to feel like we gave you a fair opportunity. We’re intimated when we see the quality of the students when we come here.”

Billings said, “This was a hot bench with all three of us trying to ask you questions at once. Your ability to be composed and responsive under these circumstance means no bench is going to trip you up.”

The competition came down to less than a one point difference, according to Billings.

The summary of the case that was at issue follows:

Plaintiff Pamela Powell, a sophomore at Dobson Technical University (“DTU”), contacted Matthew Grover, the athletic director at DTU, via letter, requesting the creation of a women’s varsity golf team. DTU is a four year, accredited educational institution and a recipient of federal funding. There are 4,010 students enrolled at DTU, with female students comprising 52% of the student body, and 47.06% of DTU’s 408 student-athletes are female. Currently, DTU has nine men’s athletic teams and eight women’s athletic teams. DTU surveys all of its students “every couple of years” regarding various aspects of its athletic program. Prior to Ms. Powell, no DTU student had ever expressed interest in a women’s varsity golf team. After receiving Ms. Powell’s letter, two other students contacted Mr. Grover by phone to inquire about a women’s varsity golf team. Mr. Grover stated that these two students did not provide enough information for him to determine whether they would be able to compete on the intercollegiate level, although he described one of the students as similar to Ms. Powell in terms of experience. Mr. Grover also stated that DTU does not have enough funding for the addition of women’s varsity golf, and that the only way DTU could free up the funds to add a women’s golf team would be to cut a men’s athletic team. Ms. Powell and her personal coach believe she has the potential to play golf on the LPGA if she has the opportunity to develop her game through playing on a women’s varsity team.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that federally funded education programs or activities cannot exclude from participation, discriminate against, or deny benefits to any person on the basis of sex. On November 19, 2013, after Mr. Grover informed Ms. Powell that DTU had decided not to field a women’s varsity golf team, she filed a Title IX action in the District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The Court found, as a matter of law, that the 5 percent disparity between male and female student-athletes enrolled at Defendant establishes a lack of substantial proportionality between the sexes. Both parties have filed motions for summary judgment.

The question before the Court is whether DTU’s refusal to field a women’s golf team violates Title IX. The first issue is whether DTU has fully and effectively accommodated its female athletes. If DTU has not, the second issue is whether DTU can prove an affirmative defense of a history and continuing practice of program expansion.

The event, which is held each spring for first-year law students, fielded 111 initial competitors. Each student wrote a brief and argued twice, once “on-brief” and once “off-brief.” After two weeks, 21 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.

Emery 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.

Elissa Hachmeister won the Best Brief award, while Lauren Emery was the runner-up. The Best Oralist award went to Alexis Iffert, with Catherine Law earning runner-up. The Debbie Parker Moot Court Service Award went to Michael Bixby (’14).

The 2014 Walker Moot Court Competition co-chairs are Jasmine Pitt (’15) and Stephen Frost (’15).

Other new first-year members of the Moot Court Board are Anastasia Bond, Joshua Bussen, Carrie Daniel, Meredith FitzGibbon, Kayla Frederickson, Alicha Grubb, Elissa Hachmeister, Cheslie Kryst, Catherine Law, Ryan McIntyre, Daniel Menken, Blaydes Moore, Kaitlin Price, Elizabeth Ruocco, Mackenzie Salenger, Rachel Shields, Ashley Sims, Emily Singer, and Olivia Stidham.

For  more than 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.

Dean Blake D. Morant added that “here at Wake Forest Law students are at the center of what we do. I am so proud of our oral advocates and the job they did today. The Moot Court Board also did an awesome job. There are no losers today, there are only winners.”

 

Walker Competition Schedule

The following are important dates for this year’s Walker Competition.  If you need more information, please contact the Walker Competition Co-Chairs, Stephen Frost and Jasmine Pitt.

Event                                                 Date
Walker Sign-Up Deadline March 5 at 5 PM
Briefs Due March 7 at 9AM
On-Brief Oral Arguments March 31-April 3
Off-Brief Oral Arguments April 7-April 10
Sweet 16 Oral Arguments April 14
Elite 8 Oral Arguments April 15
Final Four Arguments April 16
Final Arguments April 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to sign up for the Walker Competition. We encourage you all to participate and look forward to this year’s event!

Josh Adams (’15) wins 42nd annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition!

Josh Adams (’15)  won the 42nd annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition final round held at Wake Forest University School of Law on Friday, April 19.

The final round showcases the top two first-year law students in the moot court competition.

Arguing a fictitious case about whether a woman is entitled to keep the engagement ring after the engagement is called off, Adams was able to successfully argue in favor of the plaintiff Percy Pettigrew. Fellow first-year law student Kelsey Meuret represented the defendant Denise Daniels.

The distinguished panel of judges included The Honorable Joi E. Peake, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Middle District of North Carolina; The Honorable James L. Gale, Special Superior Court Judge, North Carolina Business Court; and Suzanne Reynolds (’77), Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs; Professor of Law.

The judges were highly complimentary of both finalists.

“It took us a long time to decide because it was so close,” Judge Reynolds explained. “Mr. Adams I was really impressed with your argument because I thought Ms. Meuret had the law behind her. You made best on what I thought was a difficult argument.”

Judges Gale and Peake added that they both represented Wake Forest well.

“You both did a fantastic job and it was a great argument,” Judge Peake said. “Ms. Meuret I thought you did a good job framing your argument.”

The summary of the case that was at issue follows:

The Plaintiff Percy Pettigrew met the Defendant Denise Daniels while he was attending Hampden-Sydney in Virginia. The two began dating and fell in love. Six months later, Pettigrew proposed to Daniels, giving her what he alleges is his grandmother’s family heirloom engagement ring. The next semester, Daniels was forced to leave Hollins University to take care of her seriously ill mother in North Carolina. Daniels did not return to Hollins that semester.

After moving back home, Daniels heard rumors that Pettigrew was dating her old roommate at Hollins University. Pettigrew then broke off his engagement with Daniels by changing his Facebook status from “in a relationship” to “single.” When Pettigrew requested his grandmother’s engagement ring back from Daniels, Daniels refused to return the ring because it reminded her of “his better side.”

The question before this Court is which party is entitled to keep the engagement ring after the engagement is called off. The first issue is whether the engagement ring is an unconditional gift or a conditional gift, conditioned upon the marriage actually occurring. If the ring is a conditional gift, the second issue is whether the Court should consider who was at fault for breaking the engagement off when determining who is entitled to keep the engagement ring.

The event, which is held each spring for first-year law students, fielded 86 initial competitors. Each student wrote a brief and argued twice, once “on-brief” and once “off-brief.” After two weeks, 19 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.

Adams 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.

Davis Phillips won the Best Brief award, while Josh Adams was the runner-up. The Best Oralist award went to Lauren Richburg, with Kelsey Meuret and Andrew Parrish earning runners-up. The Debbie Parker Moot Court Service Award went to Dylan Greenwood.

The 2013 Walker Moot Court Competition co-chairs are Linda Boss and Lindsay Watson. “We really appreciate everyone who participated,” Boss said. “We thought you all did a great job.”

Other new first-year members of the Moot Court Board are John Blanchard, Melissa Bryson, Zachary Dunn, Karon Fowler, Stephen Frost, Tee Hassold, Evan Leadem, Brooke Loucks, Caroline Massagee, Jim Miller, Andrew Parrish, Davis Phillips, Lauren Richburg, William Vandiford, Ashley Waring, J.D. Wooten, and Christine York.

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.

Josh Adams (’15) and Kelsey Meuret (’15)

Emma Maddux wins 40th Annual George K. Walker Competition

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. Continue reading »

2011 Walker Moot Court Competition

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2010 Walker Competition

The 39th Annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition has concluded. The final round was judged by U.S. District Court Judges William Osteen Jr. and Frank D. Whitney, as well as former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Rhoda Billings.

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Walker Competition Results – 2009

Results

The 38th Annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition concluded on Friday, April 17, 2009.  First-year students Kelly Beth Bowker and Katie Serfas competed in the final round.  The final round was judged by Chief Judge Louise W. Flanagan from the Eastern District of North Carolina, Chief Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. from the Western District of North Carolina, and Judge Frank D. Whitney from the Western District of North Carolina. Congratulations to Katie Serfas for becoming the 2009 Walker Champion and to Kelly Beth Bowker for an outstanding performance! Continue reading »