By David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
Moot court team and town council members (center: Mayor Bob Lazaro and PHC Chancellor, Dr. Michael Farris)
In celebration of Patrick Henry College’s recent national moot court championship, the Purcellville Town Council honored the team at its February 10 meeting. With the town council standing to salute 18 PHC team members who competed in both regional and national tournaments, Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro handed each a certificate acknowledging their achievements.
“Congratulations to each of you,” said Mayor Lazaro. “You have made this community proud and have helped put Purcellville on the map. Whenever I do a Google Search about our town, you (the College) always come up.”
Purcellville mayor Bob Lazaro awards national moot court champion Aidan Grano his certificate
“I know this is a cause for pride and joy for the College,” added Mayor Lazaro. “We see your students all over town, working at the teen center, serving on the rescue squad, working at various businesses, and shopping. This brings pride and prestige to our community. All I would like to say to you now is, ‘Go for four!’”
Also receiving recognition at the meeting were moot court coaches, Dr. Michael Farris, chancellor of PHC, and government professor Dr. Frank Guliuzza.
“We’re the largest moot court team in the country, from the smallest school, and we’re only graduating two of our team members this spring,” replied Dr. Farris. “Our program is well-poised for next year, and we’re deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Town. This is a wonderful experience for our students.”
Past PHC legal debate teams have won back-to-back national titles in 2005 and 2006, a feat as yet unmatched in the ACMA’s nine-year history. The College also defeated Oxford University in head-to-head matches in 2004 and 2005.
Moot court or legal debate is an intensive simulation of appellate court proceedings that tests students’ abilities in a range of judicial disciplines – research, brief writing, and debate – while arguing authentic court cases before a panel of judges.