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Home > Strong Start to PHC Moot Court Campaign

Strong Start to PHC Moot Court Campaign

November 16th, 2011

By Carissa Davis.

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Junior Ardee Coolidge

Eleven teams from PHC traveled to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament at Regent University this past weekend, kicking off the College’s annual run-up toward the national American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) Championships in Orange County, California. The results were reminiscent of the success of recent PHC moot squads, which have won an unprecedented five of the past seven ACMA national championships, as PHC teams beat out Regent and Liberty universities, and the University of Virginia to close out the tournament with all four spots in the semifinal round.
Ardee Coolidge and Joshua Chamberlain emerged as regional champions, beating out fellow PHC team Rebecca Sampayan and James Nelson. Coolidge was also awarded Best Speaker.

“Most of the PHC teams seemed to do great,” Nelson said. “The judges were all either law students, law professors, or lawyers, and they all did a pretty good job.”

“[PHC competed against] some pretty difficult teams -- there were some good teams from University of Virginia, Regent, and Liberty,” added Dr. Frank Guliuzza, a PHC moot court coach along with PHC Chancellor and founder Dr. Michael Farris. “UVA had some brand-new teams. Given the quality of the field, our teams competed as well as we could expect.”

The competition was the first of four qualifying tournaments PHC will compete in before the holidays. This coming weekend, PHC will journey to a tournament in Massachusetts, and the College will also participate in tournaments in Orlando, FL and Long Beach, CA during the first weekend of December.

Top two teams at last weekend's moot court tournament: From L to R, Ardee Coolidge, Joshua Chamberlain, Rebecca Sampayan, James Nelson

“We have a lot of kids who are hungry to compete, and we want to give them the opportunity,” Guliuzza said.

The Regent tournament was an encouraging start for a PHC moot court team that faced some daunting new opponents, and which also lost key members from previous years.

“Every coach is supposed to say it’s a rebuilding process, but this year it really is,” Guliuzza noted. “We had some good teams from last year that didn’t come back, but the teams we have are working very hard and doing a good job. Many of our teams came straight from the intramural tournament we held here. We turned those teams around and sent them straight to regionals, and I’m glad we did.”

Six teams from the Regent tournament qualified for nationals, and Guliuzza assumes more will qualify at the next three tournaments. As in past years, in which PHC has consistently qualified a dozen or more teams through regional qualifying tournaments, only eight teams will be allowed to compete at nationals at Chapman University Law School in southern California on January 13-14.