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2001-2002 Competition Results

 HIGHLIGHTS

Affirmative Action in the Educational Setting:
Leveling or Tipping the Playing Field

 
The 2002 First Place and Best Brief winners, University of Minnesota Team No. 1's Jessica Clay and Erin Minkler are flanked by their coaches Steve Buterin, Esq. and Jennifer Ampulski, Esq. Mr. Buterin and Ms. Ampulski are Attorney Instructors with the law school's Civil Rights Moot Court.

 

The Seventeenth Annual William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition was held February 28, March 1 and 2, 2002 at the University of Minnesota Law School. Thirty-four teams from the following law schools participated:

Albany Law School
Brigham Young University
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Brooklyn Law School
Univ. of Calif. Davis Law School
Univ. of Calif. Hastings College of the Law
University of Cincinnati School of Law
University of Dayton School of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Hamline University School of Law
Howard University School of Law
University of Houston Law Center
John Marshall Law School
Mercer Law School

University of Minnesota Law School
New York University School of Law
Ohio State University
St. Thomas University School of Law
Seton Hall School of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law
University of Toledo College of Law
Villanova School of Law
Washburn University School of Law
Wayne State University Law School
Widener University School of Law
William Mitchell College of Law
University of Wisconsin Law School

Each team briefed and argued Grutter v. Bollinger, 137 F.Supp.2d 821 (E.D. Mich. 2001), a case concerning the constitutionality of the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative action admissions policy.

Edward Toussaint, Jr., Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Judge Edward S. Wilson of the Ramsey County District Court, Judge Lloyd Zimmerman of the Hennepin County District Court, Justice Sandra Gardebring a retired member of the Minnesota Supreme Court and Stephen W. Cooper, Esq., presided over the final argument in Lockhart Hall.

University of Minnesota Team 1, consisting of Jessica Clay and Erin Minkler, won First Place and Best Brief honors. Stetson University College of Law came in second. Michelle Johnson Weider of Stetson won Best Oral Advocate Over-All. Christy Martin of the University of Houston Law Center won Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds with Michelle Johnson Weider receiving an honorable mention.

Other teams that advanced to the Semi-Finals included: New York University School of Law and Wayne State University Law School. Other teams that advanced to the Quarter-Finals included: Widener University School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, John Marshall Law School and Albany Law School. Other teams that advanced to the Round of Sixteen included: Hamline University School of Law Team 2, William Mitchell College of Law Team 1, Seton Hall School of Law, University of Minnesota Law School Team 2, University of Wisconsin Law School Team 1, Mercer Law School Team 1, Washburn University School of Law and Villanova School of Law.

Over 150 members of the bar and bench took part in judging briefs, oral arguments or both. Prior to the competition, the Civil Rights Moot Court offered the volunteer judges a free Continuing Legal Education program, "Affirmative Action in the Educational Setting: Leveling or Tipping the Playing Field" The well attended program included a panel discussion regarding the legal, constitutional and policy issues involved in cases like Grutter v. Bollinger. The panel consisted of the law school's Prof. Jim Chen, Prof. Eric Janus of William Mitchell College of Law, Prof. Robyn Magee of Hamline University School of Law, John M. Taborn, Ph.D. a practicing psychologist and retired Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, Mark B. Rotenberg, General Counsel for the University of Minnesota and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, and David Herr, Esq., a member of the litigation team at Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand that represents the actual plaintiff, Barbara Grutter. Clinical Prof. Carl Warren moderated the panel. Prof. Ann L. Iijima of William Mitchell College of Law spoke concerning standards and the appropriate analysis of the constitutional issues in educational affirmative action cases. Prof. Maury Landsman, of the University of Minnesota Law School discussed the ethical issues relating to representing unpopular causes.

 Edward Toussaint, Jr., Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals presents the 2002 Second Place award to Stetson University College of Law's Ya' Sheaka Campbell and Michelle Johnson-Weider. Ms. Johnson-Weider also won Best Oral Advocate Over-All.

 Chief Judge Toussaint presents the Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds award to 2002 Christy Martin of the University of Houston Law Center.