VERMILLION, S.D. – Three students from the University of South Dakota’s Moot Court Board earned best brief honors at the 2020 Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, hosted by Brooklyn Law School in New York.
Third-year law student Mae Meierhenry and second-year law students Tom Schartz and Tierney Scoblic comprised the winning team.
"Mae, Tierney and Tom wrote a tremendous brief,” said Sean Kammer, a USD law professor and coach of the moot court board. "After reading it, I told them that it was worthy of being submitted to the real Supreme Court. I am not at all surprised the judges agreed and deemed these students worthy of this incredible honor."
Moot court competitions require teams submit a written appellate brief in advance of the tournament. These submissions are graded and calculated into the scores the teams receive during the oral advocacy portion of the competition. Although the second-half of the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the tournament proceeded to award the top brief honor. Kammer noted the significance of the accomplishment.
"Writing is the most important aspect of effective advocacy, and that is especially true in the appellate context,” Kammer said.
Thirty-five teams from across the country were set to compete at the tournament. The second and third-place honors were awarded to Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, California.
The South Dakota Moot Court Board practices appellate brief writing and oral advocacy by competing in tournaments all over the country. Although competition season is closed, the board will host the annual Sam Masten Intramural Moot Court Competition for first-year law students later this month via remote access.