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PHC Wins West Coast Moot Court Regionals

December 7th, 2009

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

This moot court season, in its typical winning manner, Patrick Henry College entered three ACMA (American Collegiate Moot Court Association) regional moot court tournaments and dominated all three. The defending national moot court champions -- and winner of three of the past five national tournaments -- PHC will once again send a maximum number of eight two-person teams to nationals, Jan. 15-16, in Miami, Florida.

Joseph Alm and Brianna Edelblut, first place, Western Regional Conference in Long Beach

The latest regional victory came at the Western Regional Conference, Dec. 4-5, at California State University in Long Beach, CA. Prior to Thanksgiving, PHC won the Eastern Regional moot court tournament in Fitchburg, MA, topping Harvard, Syracuse University, Holy Cross, and Saint John’s, among many others.

That same weekend, another PHC moot court delegation sent eight teams to a new regional tournament at Regent University and swept all of the top eight places.

In Long Beach this past weekend, last year’s second-place national ACMA championship team of Joseph Alm and Brianna Edelblut won first place, while last year’s national semi-finalists, Robert Kelly and James Mieding, earned second place. The team of Noah Oberlander and Stephanie Monk earned fourth place.

“We entered three and won three, the mid-Atlantic, East Coast, and West Coast championships,” said PHC Chancellor and moot court coach, Dr. Michael Farris. “Last year we won nationals championship with basically the same group. If there were not a limit on qualifiers, we could have sent 13 of our 19 teams to compete with the top 64 in the country.”

Added PHC Professor of Government and moot court coach Dr. Frank Guliuzza, who attended the West Coast tournament, “This year we closed out the final round at all three tournaments we entered (MA, VA, and CA). We walked away with three regional championships and three runners up.”

Robert Kelly and James Mieding, second place, Western Regional Conference in Long Beach

Underscoring the depth of the annual juggernaut that PHC’s moot program has become, Dr. Guliuzza noted that “All 19 teams that we took advanced into the elimination rounds. Because we earned 13 spots, we'll now need to give back five of those bids.  That means that several students who were in the top-ten at last year’s national tournament won't make the squad that competes at the Championship Tournament in Miami.”
 
The College also excelled in individual speaker awards, with James Mieding earning a first-place trophy, along with Brianna Edelblut (fourth place), Joseph Alm (fifth place), and Robert Kelly (seventh place). In the team standings, reports Dr. Guliuzza, eventual winners Alm and Edelblut won 30 consecutive ballots from round three of the prelims into the finals,” with a final tally of 5-0 in octofinals, 7-0 in quarters, 9-0 in semis, 5-0 in finals. 
 
With another strong contingent bound for Miami to attempt to repeat as national champions, Dr. Farris said he was equally blessed to learn of the recent collegiate success of former PHC moot court team member Will Glaser, now attending Pepperdine Law School.

“Will was on our team two years ago,” notes Dr. Farris. “On November 21 he won the Chicago Bar Association Constitutional Law and Moot Court Competition. The exciting thing for me is not only to see this continuous string of victories by this year’s team but to see how our former students are going on to do great things.

“We have three former PHC moot court competitors writing for the Harvard Law Review, and others excelling at Pepperdine Law and at law schools across the nation,” he added. “I know what it means for their lives and careers to do well in our moot court program. It’s putting them on a fast track to being leaders in the legal profession.”

The 13 PHC teams who qualified for Nationals at a regional tournament are:

Zachary Enos/Mackenzi Siebert
Rachel Heflin/Jenna Lorence
Joseph Alm/Brianna Edelblut
James Barta/Andrew Hull
Joshua Kamakawiwoole/Aaron Kamakawiwoole
James Mieding/Robert Kelly
Jonathan Carden/Grace Lichlyter
Jon Cartee/Ian Reid
Noah Oberlander/Stephanie Monk
Aidan Grano/Ben Sayre
Rachel Blum/Paul Sellers
Krystal Brunner/Levi Swank
Adam Fisher/Logan Spena