2001-2002 Competition Results
Affirmative Action in the Educational Setting:
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:
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.