moot court national finalists

The University of Memphis School of Law won 2nd place in the nation and were National Runners-Up in the 74th Annual National Moot Court Competition, held January 31 at the New York City Bar Association. The National Finalist Team was comprised of Thomas Fletcher, Kelsey McClain and Derrick Shawver and coached by Professor Barbara Kritchevsky.

The Best Brief Award went to Memphis Law team member Kelsey McClain. Additionally, Ms. McClain was named as Runner-Up Best Oralist in the Final Round. 

Over 130 teams competed in the 74th annual National Moot Court Competition. The top two teams from each region advanced to the final rounds in New York. Memphis Law (and Alabama) advanced from Region 7. Memphis Law narrowly lost its first round to Fordham (the eventual champions) but rebounded by soundly defeating Boston College.  The Memphis Law team advanced out of the preliminary rounds and defeated Nova Southeastern in the round of sixteen, then beat Nebraska in the quarterfinals and University of Illinois in the semifinals. The final round was a rematch against Fordham (which defeated the other Region 7 representative Alabama in the other semifinal). 

moot court national finalists

Judge Caitlin Halligan, New York City Court of Appeals judge, addressed both teams after the final announcement, stating, "We were tremendously impressed with everyone's performance. This was an extremely difficult and close call." Echoing that sentiment, William J. Murphy, president of the American College of Trial Lawyers stated, "The margin of victory here was TINY."

The final round was judged by Susan J. Kohlmann, President, New York City Bar Association; William J. Murphy, President, American College of Trial Lawyers; Hon. Caitlin Halligan, New York State Court of Appeals; Hon. Arun Subramanian, United States District Court, SDNY; Hon. Hector Gonzalez, United States District Court, EDNY and Hon. Rosalyn Richter, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Term, 1st Department (Ret).  

The competitors in this year’s tournament were confronted with two issues: The first deals with a question of personal jurisdiction over a foreign resident, and the second on whether social media posts about a crypto asset security give rise to liability under the Securities Act of 1933.  

The final argument was the culmination of more than six months of preparation and arguments by 132 teams from over 105 law schools across the country. The top two teams from each of the 12 regional competitions advanced to the final rounds.  

"We are extremely proud of our National Team's accomplishments and success," said Memphis Law Dean Katharine Schaffzin. "Thomas, Kelsey, and Derrick showed that their combination of extraordinary talent, hard work, and outstanding advocacy skills were literally some of the best in the nation and continued the long-standing success of our stellar Advocacy program and Moot Court teams. Additionally, the law school owes Professor and Coach Barbara Kritchevsky a special thank you for once again coaching a phenomenal team and showcasing Memphis Law's students on a national stage. Thank you as well to the many volunteers and faculty members who judged practice rounds and helped the team along the way to National success."

"This is yet another example of how Memphis Law produces some of the best advocates in the country."

If you would like to watch a recorded video of the final round, please click here.