The American Bar Association recently sponsored the 34th Annual National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Chicago. This competition began with 187 teams from 111 law schools, who competed at six regional sites. This year’s competition problem involved a war powers dispute between Congress and the President. Team members were required to write a brief on one side of the issue and to argue before a panel of judges as if they were in front of the United States Supreme Court. The top four teams from each region advanced to the national finals in Chicago. Some of the regional champions included Duke, Chicago-Kent, University of Texas, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, Temple, Samford University, American University, Loyola-Chicago, Washington University, and Michigan State University.
Katie Langer, a law clerk in our Mass Torts Section, who is a third year law student at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, was the senior member of the appellate advocacy team which finished second in the nation out of 187 teams. Katie and her teammates, Ashley Penhale and Clayton Tartt, defeated teams from St. Mary’s, Texas Tech and Seton Hall in the national elimination rounds to advance to the national championship on Saturday, April 4, 2009. The national championship round was held at the Chicago courtroom of the Illinois Supreme Court with Illinois Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald presiding.
South Texas defeated the Jones team in the final round, but the second place finish is the school’s best result in just three years of eligibility as an American Bar Association-approved law school. Katie was named the fifth best advocate in the competition. This is a tremendous accomplishment for Katie. We are proud of her and the entire team. She will be an outstanding lawyer.
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