Southwestern Finishes in Top Four at Weschler Moot Court Competition
In October, Southwestern had an outstanding showing at the Burton D. Wechsler Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C. The team of oralists Scott Emerick, David Jones and oralist/writer Nikki Eclarinal - all third-year day program students - advanced to the semifinals, finishing in one of the top four spots out of the 29 teams who participated in this national competition.
During the octafinal round, Southwestern defeated teams from Emory, Seton Hall, South Texas, St. Johns, Touro, and the University of San Diego. In the quarterfinals, Southwestern beat teams from Brooklyn Law School, Cleveland State, Texas Tech and the University of Miami before losing to the University of Wisconsin in the semifinal round.
"The help we received from alumni, professors and fellow Moot Court members who judged our rounds was the greatest advantage we had going into the competition," Emerick explained. "Their questions and comments in the weeks leading up to the competition were difficult and insightful." Emerick also praised team coach Sabrina Jangda '12 for her help as well as Professors Catherine Carpenter and Alexandra D'Italia for "running a great program that sets up every team for success."
The team spent a month and a half preparing for the competition, in which they argued a case that involved issues concerning free exercise and free speech clauses of the First Amendment for a government/public school employee. Specifically, the case was centered on an eighth grade public school teacher who was suspended for teaching Sunday school because of a policy the school board decided to implement in order to prevent grade favoritism. He was later fired for sending a Facebook message to students while on suspension. The educator claimed these actions violated his First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and free speech.