University of Dubuque Places Second in Moot Court Tournament

Oct 18, 2018 | University Relations

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque finished second in a field of 24 teams at the Second City Invitational Moot Court Tournament hosted by the University of Chicago on October 12-13.

The UD team of Noah Hoskins, a senior philosophy major from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Marissa Joers, a senior business administration and English major from Racine, Wisconsin, made it to the finals and took second place overall. They were coached by Ben Bartels, assistant professor of criminal justice and pre-law advisor.

“Competing in pre-law tournaments have been my favorite part of my undergraduate career. I have never made it to the final round in a Moot Court tournament before, and so it was really special to finally reach this point after three previous seasons of competing. My goal is to make it to the national tournament this year like I did previously in 2016, and this time make it into the elimination rounds,” Joers said.

Twenty-four teams competed in the invitational including representatives from University of Chicago, University of Cal-Fullerton, University of Tampa, University of Central Florida, University of Loyola – Chicago, University of North Texas, and Notre Dame College of Ohio.

UD was represented by three teams: Hoskins and Joers as well as the team of Jade Romagna, a senior criminal justice major from Dubuque, and Joseph Furnstahl, a senior criminal justice major from Eagan, Minnesota, and the team of Hailey Wills, a sophomore business major from Galena, Illinois, and Heather Muntz, a junior criminal justice major from Dubuque.

“I’m very proud of our performance. The students worked extremely hard. I hope this experience provides motivation for us as we look towards regionals,” Bartels said.

Moot Court provides undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in complex legal arguments before a simulated Supreme Court with a fictitious case. Competitors must give a cohesive ten minute argument before a judge’s panel where they may be interrupted for questions.

The Second City Invitational Moot Court Tournament centered on two issues. The first issue questioned whether a public university can discriminate against women in an affirmative action admissions policy under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The second issue questioned whether a public university can terminate an adjunct employee after that employee spoke out against their employer under the Freedom of Expression Clause of the 1st Amendment.

“Anyone looking to enhance their presence, confidence, and speech would benefit exponentially from Moot Court. Regardless of whether or not someone wants to attend law school, Moot Court challenges your critical thinking, writing, and communication skills beyond any other undergraduate exercise. There is no better way to become the best possible communicator that you can be than by competing in Moot Court under the teaching of Professor Ben Bartels,” Joers said.