STU Moot Court Sets New Program Record at National Championship

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St. Thomas University Moot Court set a new program benchmark at the 2019 American Moot Court Association National Championship in Orlando, Florida.

Two STU teams finished in the top 10—Emma Walsh and Brianna Workman placed fifth and Jarrod Ryan and Husoni Raymond placed ninth—three teams earned brief writing awards, and two STU Mooters were recognized as top oralists.

Walsh and Workman’s fifth place finish is the highest ever achieved by a STU team.

“I'm extremely proud of everything we've done,” Workman said. “Emma and I set the bar for ourselves extremely high last year and we knew it was going to be difficult to meet or exceed that bar this year, but I'm very satisfied we were able to.”

In the five years since its inception, STU Moot Court has made four appearances at the National Tournament and has consistently placed among the top speakers in competition—STU students have been recognized 28 times as top oralists at regional events and earned six top speaker awards at nationals.

This year, STU qualified seven teams for the national competition. Walsh credits the team’s intense preparation for the program’s continued success.

“We plan for every scenario. This year there was not a single question Brianna and I didn’t know the answer to and we didn’t skip a beat, no matter how hard the judges were pressing us,” Walsh said.  “STU is capable of so much. Everyone knows we're from Canada and that we're tough competitors.”

Top Speakers and Brief Writers

STU Mooters were also among the top speakers and brief writers at the event.

Ryan and Raymond ranked in the top 20 oralists, placing thirteenth and seventeenth respectively.

“I was extremely happy to be placed among the top 2 percent of orators who participated in the competition this year,” Raymond said.

“I’ve gained useful public speaking experience which has allowed me to confidently express my opinion. As an aspiring lawyer, Moot Court has given me a competitive edge when it comes to oral advocacy.”

STU Mooters Sarie Durelle and Victoria Loucks; Abbie LeBlanc and Telina Debly; and Walsh and Workman were recognized with written brief awards.

While Durelle and Loucks didn’t qualify for the national event—they fell to another STU Moot team in a qualifying round at regionals—they were thrilled to be recognized for their written brief.

“I’m so happy and proud that our written brief for the respondent placed third. It was a difficult side to argue at times, but it feels incredible that all of our hard work paid off,” Durelle said.

“Moot Court is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at STU. It has provided me with skills in oral advocacy, legal writing, research, and time management, which will prove invaluable for applying to law school next year.”

Want to be a part of STU Moot Court? Attend the mandatory information session January 25 at 2:30 pm in Brian Mulroney Hall, room 103 or or email dipaolo@stu.ca for more information.

The STU moot court experience has been made possible, in large part, thanks to a generous donation from Frank and Julie McKenna to create an endowment fund in the name of McKenna's longtime assistant Ruth McCrea.