March 22, 2021

Seigenthaler-Sutherland National First Amendment Moot Court CompetitionOn March 19-20, nearly 200 competitors, coaches, judges, and lawyers took part in the 71st Annual Seigenthaler-Sutherland National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, hosted by Catholic Law and co-sponsored by the Law School’s Center for Religious Liberty. The 30 teams competing in the event represented schools from across the country and abroad and competed in an exclusively virtual format. This year’s problem—written by Seigenthaler-Sutherland Co-Coordinators Professor Susanna Fischer and Professor A.G. Harmon, as well as third-year law students Andrea Laprade, Abigal Rinard, and Emmett Whelan—was particularly topical and asked teams to consider free speech and religious liberty objections to a governmental mandate issued in response to a pandemic.

Vice-Chancellor of the Seigenthaler-Sutherland National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, Mary Turgeon (3L), represented on behalf of Catholic Law and did a great job putting together such a large-scale production which took nearly eight months to prepare. Turgeon shared, "The competition wouldn't have been possible without the dedication of the Moot Court Association members, 17 of whom participated as bailiffs during the event." Caleb Holland (3L), Moot Court Association Chancellor; Ruric Ellings (3L), Chief Operations Officer; and Richard Couch (3L), President of Analytics, were also critically important in making sure that the event ran well, and helped ensure that all scoring for the competition was handled fairly and accurately. 

The Law School is also grateful for the 85 distinguished individuals who volunteered their time to serve as judges for the event; including Dean Stephen Payne, Professor Mark Rienzi, and Judge Susan Webber Wright of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas who served as judges in the competitions final round.

First Place:
Florida State University

Second Place:
University of Wisconsin

Best Brief:
Liberty University

Second Best Brief:
Samford University

Best Oralist:
University of Wisconsin
Samhita Collur

Second Best Oralist:
Florida State University
Gabriela De Almeida