UD’s Moot Court Team Advances to Nationals

Dec 2, 2016 | Stacey Ortman, director of public information

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque Moot Court learned today they received a bid to compete at the American Moot Court Association (AMCA) National Tournament in January.

“For UD to secure a bid to nationals, given the enrollment and academic reputation of the institutions we competed against, speaks to our students’ talents and determination,” said Ben Bartels, moot court coach, assistant professor of criminal justice, and pre-law advisor at UD. “Other than Loras College, UD was by far the smallest institution at our regional and we sometimes competed against schools with 20-times our own enrollment. Further, our team secured a bid by defeating the No. 1 seed in our regional from the University of Chicago.”

UD secured the bid when Amanda Downing (C’19), a psychology and criminal justice major from Freeport, Illinois, and Marissa Joers (C’19), a business major from Racine, Wisconsin, were declared semifinalists at the AMCA Upper Midwest Regional Moot Court Tournament held Nov. 18-19 at the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City.

Moot court allows undergraduates to engage in simulated legal argument before a hypothetical appellate court reviewing a fictitious case. This year’s case questioned, among other items, whether the Voter-Identification and Anti-Voter Fraud Act violates the political speech and voting rights protected by the First Amendment of the United States, according to AMCA.

More than 300 teams from across the United States competed in national qualifying tournaments around the country to earn a bid to the national championships on Jan. 6-7 at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. UD sent seven students to the regional tournament.