Notre Dame College Moot Court Team Practices with Experts on Campus, Competes in Regionals

After being challenged in a trial run on campus by distinguished Northeast Ohio attorneys, six Notre Dame College students are primed to go up against several universities from across the country in regional moot court competitions.

The students, Jessica Cavallero, Tim Eichorn, Taylore Gilson, Corrine Huntley and Rachel Louis, practiced oral arguments last week before a panel of expert litigators, including a South Euclid, Ohio, judge and city council representative. The College team is coached by Jennifer Lanz, J.D., adjunct instructor in political science, and Ronald "Eric" Matthews Jr., Ph.D., assistant professor of history and political science.

In only its second year of existence, the Notre Dame moot court contingent faced teams from much larger and more experienced universities in American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) regional tournaments in November in Iowa and Ohio.

"The students have worked incredibly hard all summer─on their own time─and this semester, and we are excited to go represent the College," Lanz said.

The top 20 percent of teams at each regional receive an automatic invitation to the national moot court tournament January 17-18, 2014, in Tempe, Az.

"By the College pushing these students to excel, by demanding academic rigor and creating a culture of learning, we are competitive," Matthews said.

This year the students are arguing whether a warrantless tracking of a defendant's location through a cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and whether the U.S. President exceeded his authority when he ordered the indefinite detention of an American citizen.

The Notre Dame teams of two presented the case both as petitioner and respondent for practice in front of several mentors earlier this month.

In addition to South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers, South Euclid City Council At-large Representative Marty Gelfand and College Trustee Jim Drozdowski, who is a corporate and labor law attorney, the panel of experts who interrogated the students included partners and practicing lawyers from prominent firms like Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP and Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co. LPA.

Professors from the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law at Cleveland State University and the Case Western Reserve University School of Law also quizzed the teams during the run through.

Notre Dame took on 14 other teams, including California State University-Fullerton, Loyola University, University of Chicago, University of Iowa and University of Illinois, November 8-9 in the ACMA Upper Midwest Regional in Dubuque, Iowa.

The College qualified for the second day of competition in Iowa, then tied its higher-seeded opponent in knock-out rounds. In the case of a tie, the winner is determined solely by rank.

Notre Dame also competed against nearly 40 teams, including the defending national champion College of Wooster, in the ACMA Midwest Regional November 22 at Wooster.


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