The Team to Beat: STU Moot Court Finishes First, Third, and Fourth at Tampa Regional

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St. Thomas University Moot Court was the team to beat at the South Atlantic Regional in Tampa, Florida.

The three STU teams nearly swept the top spots—finishing first, third, and fourth in the 40-team competition—and each earned bids to the American Moot Court Association National Tournament in Orlando, Florida, January 12-13.

Kelly Brennan, of Burlington, ON, and Kayla Doody, of Paradise, NL, were crowned champions after defeating the College of Holy Cross in the final round. Partners Emma Walsh and Brianna Workman, and Olivia Ricketts and Elizabeth Tuck were semifinalists at the competition.

“The goal was to qualify for nationals,” Brennan said. “I never imagined Kayla and I would win the tournament.”

The STU Mooters faced Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus, University of Virginia, University of Central Florida, Patrick Henry College, the University of Tampa, and Florida Atlantic University during the two-day event.

Brennan said the months of preparation and their ability to reference case law without relying on notes gave them an edge in competition.

“Being in a position to recall the case law and facts of cases when asked questions without having to return to notes when bridging back into our arguments allowed us to come off as more conversational,” she said. “Feedback we received reflected this and I think this is a testament to how well the STU team prepares prior to competition.”

The win was extra special for Doody, who was competing in her first-ever moot court regional.

“For me personally, it was a huge achievement,” she said. “All the practice rounds and work put into moot court definitely made this award a possibility.”

St. Thomas was the only university to have all of its competitors recognized as top oralists. After the first day of competition, Walsh was third, Workman was fourth, Tuck was fifth, Ricketts was 10, Brennan was 12, and Doody was 15.

“Having all STU teams receive speaker awards, and then all STU teams in the semifinals was so incredible,” Doody said. “I’m leaving Tampa as one proud student, and I can’t wait to take nationals by storm with my teammates.”

A second group of STU mooters will be vying for their spot at the American Moot Court Association National Tournament later this month.