Student law team from USD reaches regional semifinals of national moot court competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law hosted Region 14 of the New York City Bar’s 63rd Annual National Moot Court Competition at the Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls, S.D., Nov. 8-9. Drake University School of Law won Region 14 defeating a team from the University of Minnesota Law School.

USD law students PJ Painter of Buffalo, S.D., Adam Shiffermiller of Omaha, Neb. and Morgan Peck of Sioux Falls, S.D. lost in the regional semifinals to the eventual champions from Drake. Another team from USD comprised of Tony Lamb of Lacona, Iowa, Kristi Jones of Columbus, Neb. and Kelsey Parker of Rapid City, S.D., lost in the quarterfinals of the competition that featured teams from University of Iowa, Drake University, University of Minnesota, Hamline University, University of St. Thomas, and William Mitchell College of Law.

More than 60 lawyers and judges judged rounds during the competition. The final round was judged by Judge Roger Wollman, 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Lawrence Piersol, U.S. District Court, South Dakota; and state Supreme Court Judge Glen Severson. A luncheon for the judges was held on Nov. 8 to provide an overview of the competition problem. The luncheon and other aspects of the regional competition were funded by the Sioux Falls law firm Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith.

The nationally-recognized competition began in 1950 and is run by the Young Lawyers Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers. Fifteen regional sponsors administer the regional rounds in November under the Committee’s supervision. The first and second place teams from each region advance to the National Finals, Jan. 28-31, 2013, in New York City.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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