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2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament Results Announced

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San Diego (November 6, 2012) – Today the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law announced the winners of the 24th Annual National Criminal Procedure Tournament, held October 25-28, 2012, at the Superior Courthouse in downtown San Diego.

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  • The South Texas College of Law team of David Polsinelli and Blaise Williams earned the top ranking for the weekend-long moot court tournament.
  • Melissa Kendra from the University of California Hastings College of the Law received the “Best Oralist” award, the competition’s highest individual honor.
  • The Pepperdine University School of Law team of Natalie Ferrall and Zach Tafoya won “Best Petitioner’s Brief,” and the South Texas College of Law team of David Polsinelli and Blaise Williams received “Best Respondent’s Brief.”

“We congratulate all the competitors who spent countless hours researching the legal issues, writing appellate briefs and rehearsing oral arguments,” said USD Appellate Moot Court Board Chair Patrick Klingborg. “The 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament was one of the most competitive ever. Many of the teams were among the top ten moot court programs in the nation.”

Thirty-six teams of second- and third-year students from 30 different law schools across the country competed in the 24th annual moot court tournament. A full list of participating law schools and top honors are listed below.

This 2012 tournament focused on criminal procedural concerns raised by the fictional United States Supreme Court case of United States of America v. Vladmir Alucard.

This year’s problem examined the constitutionality of a dog sniff search conducted on a home with a dog that is equipped with sense-enhancing technology, and whether a court should defer to a federal agent’s interpretation of the totality of the circumstances for a Terry stop and whether Miranda warnings should be given during said Terry stop. Read the full tournament problem.

“We would especially like to thank the San Diego legal community for coming together to make this tournament such a success,” said Klingborg. “Thank you to the students of the USD Appellate Moot Court Board, the San Diego Superior Court staff, the individual judges and commissioners who allowed the competition to take place in their courtrooms, local lawyers and judges for volunteering their time and effort to judge the competition and the University of San Diego School of Law for their continued support.”

Kaplan sponsored this year’s tournament.

About the National Criminal Procedure Tournament

The National Criminal Procedure Tournament is an annual moot court competition organized by the University of San Diego School of Law Moot Court Board. Second- and third-year law students compete against top moot court programs from around the nation by arguing challenging and timely criminal procedure issues before experienced and knowledgeable members of the California Bar and well-respected state and federal judges. Final round judges have included California Supreme Court justices as well as judges from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The rigorous tournament guarantees each team four total arguments over two days of competition with the initial rounds taking place in the San Diego Superior Courthouse and the semi-final and final rounds taking place on the campus of the University of San Diego.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 1,000 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from around the United States and throughout the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of tax, intellectual property, international law, public interest, and business and corporate law.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Results for the 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament

Top Law Schools at the 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament

RankLaw School Team (#)Team Members
1 South Texas College of Law (2) David Polsinelli & Blaise Williams
2 McGeorge School of Law (26) Justin Giovannettone & Madison Simmons
3 Pepperdine Univ. School of Law (14) Jacob Franz & Elicia Stoller
4 Pepperdine Univ. School of Law (15) Natalie Ferrall & Zach Tafoya

Best Oralist at the 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament

RankTeam MemberLaw School Team (#)
1 Melissa Kendra UC Hastings College of the Law (4)
2 Todd Sullivan Phoenix School of Law (3)
3 Sarah McNutt Marquette University School of Law (30)
4 Matthew Hanson Marquette University School of Law (31)
5 David Polsinelli South Texas College of Law (2)
6 Zach Tafoya Pepperdine University School of law (15)
7 Blaise Williams South Texas College of Law (2)
8 Cassandra Shryock UC Hastings College of the Law (4)
9 Megan Beaver McGeorge School of Law (27)
10 Meghan Newcomer  Fordham University School of Law (8)

Best Petitioner’s Brief at the 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament

RankLaw School Team (#)Team Members
1 Pepperdine Univ. School of Law (15) Natalie Ferrall & Zach Tafoya
2 Stetson Univ. School of Law (25) Deidre Monique Brown & Kayla Cash
3 Michigan State School of Law (13) Kasey Mahoney & Jeffrey Hayden
4 South Texas College of Law (3) Joseph Bramanti & Natalie Miller

Best Respondent’s Brief at the 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament

RankLaw School Team (#)Team Members
1 South Texas College of Law (3) David Polsinelli & Blaise Williams
2 Fordham Univ. School of Law (8) Stephen Della Fera & Meghan Newcomer
3 Baylor Univ. School of Law (22) Colin Powell   Emily Seale
4 Pepperdine Univ. School of Law (14) Jacob Franz & Elicia Stoller

Participating Law Schools at the 2012 National Criminal Procedure Tournament

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  • Baylor University School of Law
  • Boston College Law School
  • California Western School of Law
  • Benjamin R. Cardozo School of Law
  • Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law
  • Fordham University Law School
  • Harvard Law School
  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Loyola University, New Orleans College of Law
  • Marquette University Law School
  • Michigan State University College of Law
  • Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Phoenix School of Law
  • Quinnipiac University School of Law
  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Seton Hall School of Law
  • South Texas College of Law
  • St. Thomas University School of Law
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Trinity Law School
  • University of Alabama School of Law
  • University of California Hastings College of the Law
  • University of Kansas School of Law
  • University of La Verne
  • University of Miami School of Law
  • University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law
  • University of West Los Angeles School of Law
  • University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Whittier Law School
ContactPatrick Riedling | patrick.riedling@sandiego.edu | (619) 260-4207