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Moot Court Nationals Roster Set

December 18th, 2008

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 338-8727

Members of the PHC moot court team with Dr. Frank Guliuzza (R) and retired U.S. District Court judge George Schiavelli (3rd from L)

Shortly after Thanksgiving, Patrick Henry College legal debaters flew back to Virginia from their last regional qualifying tournament in Long Beach, California, having captured first, second, third, and fourth place team awards. In addition, junior Rachel Blum won the tournament’s top speaker award.

This shut-out provided a fitting end to yet another in a string of excellent seasons for PHC’s formidable legal debate squad. It also provided moot court coaches with a difficult decision. With 14 teams having qualified for the national moot court tournament in Orange, CA., and with a maximum of eight teams allowed to compete, coaches Drs. Michael Farris (PHC Chancellor) and Frank Guliuzza were forced to trim the total number of qualifying teams almost in half.

“No other college has that choice,” noted coach Dr. Guliuzza, also a professor of government at PHC.

From the Long Beach tournament, students Jenna Lorence, Paul Sellers, Rachel Blum, Noah Oberlander, Carmen Pettus, Ben Sayre, Rebekah Ries, and Grace Lichlyter joined the ten teams that had already qualified for nationals, to be held January 16-17, 2009, in Orange, CA.

New to the team this year, Dr. Guliuzza traveled across the country to Virginia from Weber State University in Utah in order to serve as a moot court coach at Patrick Henry College.

“One of the reasons I came here was because of the quality of the students and their commitment to being successful,” Guliuzza. “So it’s been a pleasure to help out in any way.”

Guliuzza and Dr. Michael Farris (PHC Chancellor), made their final pick based on students’ comparative performances at the qualifying tournaments. In no particular order, the final, eight-team roster selected to attend the national tournament are: Rachel Heflin, Aidan Grano, James Mieding, Robert Kelly, Brianna Edelblut, Joseph Alm, Aaron Kamakawiwoole, Joshua Kamakawiwoole, Evan Mantel, John Miller, Jenna Lorence, Paul Sellers, Rachel Blum, Noah Oberlander, Carmen Pettus, and Ben Sayre.

“A lot of these students will want to go on and practice law,” says Guliuzza. “At Weber State, we had one of the most successful pre-law programs in the country, bar none. Part of this was because of our mock trial and moot court programs. I’ve never had a student who did mock trial or moot court who wasn’t accepted to law school.”

In the qualifying tournaments this semester, PHC teams have taken first place in three of the four competitions. Patrick Henry College has also claimed the top speaker award in every tournament.