Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Moot Court Team Earns Second Place at National Evidence Competition April 25, 2011
Moot Court Team Earns Second Place at National Evidence Competition

Southwestern's Moot Court team of second-year day student Courtney Martin and SCALE II students Chandler Parker and Bryan Swaim earned Second Place at the 26th Annual Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition. Brooklyn Law School hosted the event in which 36 teams competed. Southwestern's team defeated Georgetown in the quarterfinals and USC in the semifinals before losing to Georgia State in the last round.

"Preparing for the competition was challenging, intense, and extremely rewarding," Parker said. "What contributed most to our success was that each member of our team was truly committed to doing their best in the competition and was willing to put in the extraordinary amount of work required to succeed. Furthermore, our faculty advisor, Professor Norman Garland, proved to be an indispensable resource in terms of helping us expand our understanding of the law and perfect our arguments. The professors and alumni who donated their time and energy to judge us during the practice rounds truly prepared us for the difficult judges we faced in competition."

Professor Garland said it was a joy and a thrill to take this team to the Prince Competition. "The brief was solid and the three advocates were each and all worthy of top notch performances," he said. "And they delivered. They were on top of the subject and were a dream to coach. We lost by the narrowest of margins in the final round. I could not be prouder."

Moot Court Prince Team
(from left, all holding awards) Professor Garland, Chandler Parker, Bryan Swaim and Courtney Martin with the judges

The team tackled a problem with several issues. First, whether Federal Rule of Evidence 413 includes a criminal defendant's prior sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl which constituted statutory rape under state law and whether its admission would violate the defendant's constitutional right to due process. Second, whether excluding evidence of three prior instances of an alleged rape victim's sexual conduct violates a criminal defendant's due process rights, and whether Federal Rule of Evidence 412 bars a prior false allegation of rape. Third, does a statement made by an unpaid intern qualify as a party admission under Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(D).

"Combining our team members' constant and effective communication as a team with the support of both our Moot Court board advisor Trish Rosman and Professor Garland equaled success," Martin said. "Chandler, Bryan and I really appreciated all of the support and advice we received from our advisors both in preparing for and during the competition. We couldn't have done it without them!"

Parker reiterated the importance of having such a supportive community at the law school. "This entire process reaffirmed my deep appreciation for Southwestern and reminded me how lucky I am to attend a school that is truly committed to seeing their students succeed," he said. "During the competition, students from other schools would talk about the lack of support they received in preparing for the competition. My experience could not be more different. The students, faculty and alumni at Southwestern went above and beyond the call of duty to help us prepare. I felt as if the entire school was behind us, and I am very proud to have had the opportunity to represent such a great school in a national competition."