Moot Court squad ranks first in state -- again

Thursday, April 21, 2005

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- For the second year in a row, the University of North Texas' Moot Court Squad ended its season by having a team of students ranked first in the state by the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association. The squad won all three statewide moot court tournaments sponsored by the association this past academic year.

Founded in 1993, TUMCA advances the legal and analytical skills of undergraduate college students who plan to attend law school.

During a moot court, a simulation of an appellate court's proceedings, teams of two students examine a legal problem and present arguments for both sides of the case to a group of appellate judges. The judges review the students' arguments and ask them questions about the case.

The association presented its year-end awards this month at the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Tournament, the last TUMCA-sponsored tournament of the 2004-05 academic year.

Jennifer Poole of Denton, a senior political science major, and her partner Joe Rivera, a senior accounting control systems major from Bowie, were ranked first in the state by TUMCA, based on their performances at five tournaments throughout the year. Another team of UNT students --  Rebecca Cormier, senior political science major from Krum, and Chris Taylor, sophomore political science major from Fort Worth -- were ranked second in the state by TUMCA.

In addition, UNT Moot Court members swept the individual speaker awards for the year presented by TUMCA. Kinzie Craig, senior political science major from Allen, was named the best individual speaker in the state by TUMCA, with Rivera ranking second, Cormier third, Taylor eighth and Poole ninth. A sixth member, senior logistics major Bethany Hoover from Lewisville, was ranked fifth.

Kimi King, UNT associate professor of political science and Moot Court Squad coach, said the past competition year was the best by far for the squad since it began competing in 2000.

"This year's team did something that no other school has done in the history of TUMCA -- we won every single statewide tournament," she said. "I am so very proud of everyone for working as hard as they did this year." 

UNT's Moot Court Squad began the year by winning the Texas Tech University School of Law Tournament in October for the second year in a row. Squad members received four of the top 10 speaker awards. A month later, members placed in the top five at a regional tournament held at California State University at Long Beach, and again claimed four speaker awards.

In January, squad members placed third at a national tournament held at the University of Texas at Arlington before winning the Baylor University School of Law Tournament in February.

At the Texas Wesleyan tournament held before the TUMCA year-end awards ceremony, Poole and Rivera placed first after defeating Cormier and Taylor. All four students and Hoover  received speaker awards for the tournament, with Hoover selected as the top speaker.    

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