Southwestern's 2007 SCALE Moot Court Intramural Competition Winners Announced
Do your research. Know your facts. Trust your fellow advocates. And you may just win SCALE Moot Court. It worked for Linet Bidrossian, who won Best Oralist, and Susannah Howland, who took honors as Best Writer and Second Place Oralist, in Southwestern's 2007 SCALE Moot Court Competition.
Bidrossian and Howland paired up to prepare their arguments, and their partnership paid off. "I'd been working on the paper for two months. But I knew that I really needed to know the facts of the case, so I read them over and over," Bidrossian said.
Howland gives her teammate credit for helping her. "We're great friends and have a mutual respect for each other," she said. They also have great respect for their entire SCALE class, as it completes the first half of its two-year accelerated J.D. degree program at Southwestern.
"We knew every round of Moot Court would be tough because we have a tough class," Bidrossian said.
Another team that worked well together was Michael Coats and Grey LeCuyer. Coats was selected as an Alternate Writer and LeCuyer was selected as an Alternate Oralist.
"I spent at least 60 hours working on the problem," said LeCuyer, a former screenwriter and journalist. "It paid off when the judges told me that everybody should argue like me."
Michael Keating won Third Place Oralist and, in addition to LeCuyer, Hanna Gershfeld was also picked as an Alternate Oralist. Ann Hendrix earned Second Place Writer, Sanaz Aryanpanah took Third Place Writer and Crystal Wong was named Alternate Writer with Coats. Third round judges included SCALE alumni Judge Antonio Baretto '77, Deborah Parker '03, Courtney Stern '01, Robert Wexler '93, Karl Schoth '83, Daryn Diaz '96, Shaun Gipson '05, and Arash Beral '06.
SCALE students argued the same case that Students in Southwestern's traditional programs tackled in April during their annual intramural competition. The Moot Court Competition gives first-year students the opportunity to develop appellate brief writing and oral advocacy skills. All first-year SCALE students must participate in the first two rounds and can go on to the optional third round, which was held June 1st on campus.
This year, Professors Christine Chorba, Alexandra D'Italia, Anahid Gharakhanian, Karin Graver, Tracy Turner, and Dennis Yokoyama wrote the problem, which focused on a surrogate mother allowing a gay couple to adopt the child she bore. One of men, the sperm donor/biological father, was her boss who gave her financial incentive. Students had to consider two issues: whether the surrogate's consent contract to allow an adoption is valid in Westmoreland and whether Westmoreland's adoption statutes prohibit the non biological father from adopting the baby because the natural father (his life partner) had not relinquished his parental rights.