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2003-2004 Competition Results

Nineteenth Annual William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition
March 4, 5 and 6, 2004

The Nineteenth Annual William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition was held March 4, 5 and 6, 2004 at the University of Minnesota Law School. Thirty-nine teams representing the following law schools participated:

American University New York University School of Law
Brigham Young University Law School
Brooklyn Law School
Campbell University School of Law
Cornell Law School
Cumberland School of Law - Samford University
Depaul University College of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Georgia State University College of Law
Hamline University School of Law
Howard University School of Law
Ohio State University - Moritz College of Law
William S. Boyd School of Law- UNLV
Roger Williams University School of Law
Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Seattle Univ. School of Law
Seton Hall School of Law
Southern University Law Center
Stetson Univ. College of Law
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Tulane Law School
Univ. of Baltimore School of Law
University of Minnesota Law School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law
University of South Dakota School of Law
University of Wisconsin Law School
Valparaiso University School of Law
Walter F. George School of Law - Mercer University
Washington College of Law
Widener University School of Law
William Mitchell College of Law

Competitors considered developments concerning the rights of gay men and lesbians in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas, 123 S. Ct. 2472 (2003). The competition case was Lofton v. Secretary of Dept. of Children and Family Services, 358 F.3d 804 (11th Cir. 2004), a decision in which the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of a Florida statute that bars adoption by homosexuals.

Judge Natalie E. Hudson of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Minnesota Supreme Court Commissioner Richard S. Slowes and Hennepin County District Court Judges Heidi S. Schellhas and Lloyd Zimmerman presided over the final argument in Lockhart Hall.

Brigham Young University Law School won First Place. Stetson Univ. College of Law came in second. The University of Minnesota Law School won Third Place and Georgia State University College of Law finished fourth. University of Baltimore School of Law won Best Brief honors. Petrina Hall of Georgia State University College of Law won both the Best Oral Advocate Over-All award and Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds with Julie Sorenson of Brigham Young University Law School receiving an honorable mention with regard to the latter.

Other teams that advanced to the Quarter-Finals included: University of Baltimore School of Law, Walter F. George School of Law Mercer University Team 2, Valparaiso University School of Law and Campbell University School of Law Team 2. Other teams that advanced to the Round of Sixteen included: William Mitchell College of Law Team 2, Seton Hall School of Law Team 1, Cornell Law School, Seton Hall School of Law Team 2, Campbell University School of Law Team 1, Tulane Law School, Walter F. George School of Law Mercer University Team 1 and University of Wisconsin Law School Team 2.


Team Competition Results

First Place: Brigham Young University Law School; Julie Sorenson, Liana Spendlove, Eric Widmar
Second Place: Stetson University College of Law; Koinonia Givens-Martin and Christine Jalbert
Third Place: University of Minnesota Law School; Leah Bailey, Leah Janus and Sara Van Norman
Fourth Place: Georgia State University College of Law; Robert Laney, Victoria Watkins and Petrina Hall

Best Brief Award

University of Baltimore School of Law; LaDonna Lusher, Mack Monson and Matthew Wolf

Best Oral Advocate Overall Award

Petrina Hall, Georgia State University College of Law

Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds

Petrina Hall, Georgia State University College of Law

Honorable Mention

Julie Sorenson, Brigham Young University Law School


Dean Alex M. Johnson, Jr. and members of the finals panel, Judge Natalie E. Hudson of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Minnesota Supreme Court Commissioner Richard S. Slowes and Hennepin County District Court Judges Heidi S. Schellhas and Lloyd Zimmerman pose with Eric Widmar, Liana Spendlove and Julie Sorenson of First Place Brigham Young University Law School on the left and Koinonia Givens-Martin and Christine Jalbert of Second Place Stetson University College of Law. From left to right, Eric Widmar, Liana Spendlove, Judge Hudson, Julie Sorenson, Commissioner Slowes, Dean Johnson, Judge Schellhas, Koinonia Givens-Martin, Judge Zimmerman and Christine Jalbert.


McGee Competition Faculty Advisor, Carl Warren, presents the third and fourth place teams. On the left, members of the Third Place University of Minnesota Law School team, Leah Janus, Leah Bailey and Sara Van Norman. On the Right, members of the Fourth Place Georgia State University College of Law, Robert Laney, Victoria Watkins and Petrina Hall, who also won both the Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds and Best Oral Advocate Overall Awards.


Members of the Best Brief Award winning University of Baltimore School of Law, Matthew Wolf, Mark Monson and LaDonna Lusher.


Petrina Hall of Georgia State University College of Law, the Winner of both the Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds and Best Oral Advocate Overall Awards.


Members of the McGee Competition Administration Team, Research Assistant Han Pham, Administrative Director Courtney Powell, Faculty Advisor Carl Warren and Administrative Directors Meg Kulenkamp and Jennifer Haluptzok. Not pictured, Administrative Director Kate Jaycox.