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Stetson sweeps YLD Annual Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition

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Stetson’s Moot Court team members Liz Kellar, left, and Jessica Merker with teammate Lauren Beames via FaceTime as they prepare to fly the winning banner in the Crummer Courtyard.

Stetson Law, for the first time ever, swept all the awards at the Annual Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition hosted by The Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar on June 9, 10, and 16.

The action began on June 9 virtually as part of the 2021 Florida Bar Annual Convention when law school teams from across Florida vied for the most prestigious Moot Court Championship in the state. Quarterfinals were June 10, with the final round on June 16.

Members of Stetson’s team — Lauren Beames, Liz Kellar, and Jessica Merker — argued through three preliminary rounds, the quarterfinal round, and the semifinal round to earn a spot in the final round on June 16. On their way to making the finals, the team won the Best Brief Award, and Jessica Merker won the Best Oralist, Preliminary Rounds Award.

Professor Brooke Bowman, director of Moot Court Board, said this was an amazing competition for three reasons: In the preliminary rounds, the team was judged by actual trial court judges; in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, the team was judged by actual appellate court judges; and in the final rounds, the team was judged by the justices of the Florida Supreme Court. Only a small percentage of Florida attorneys ever have an opportunity to argue at the Florida Supreme Court, and Stetson’s team earned that distinction as students.

The Supreme Court justices unanimously named Stetson as the champions and awarded Jessica Merker the Best Oralist, Final Round Award.

Never before has a Stetson team won all four awards. Prior to this year’s accomplishments, Stetson had won eight Best Brief Awards; four Best Oralist, Preliminary Rounds Awards; and five Best Oralist, Final Round Awards. In 2003, a Stetson student won both the Best Oralist Awards.

Professor Paul Boudreaux, Professor Roberta Flowers, Professor Erin Okuno, Professor Lou Virelli, and several alumni helped the team prepare and judged their practices.

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