School of Law News
USD Moot Court Team Places Second at Prestigious National Moot Court Competition
SAN DIEGO (October 29, 2009) – The University of San Diego School of Law is pleased to announce the national moot court team of third-year law students Seth McCutcheon and Courtney Randall took second place at the 16th Annual Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition, hosted by American University Washington College of Law, October 23-24. In addition to securing second place overall, McCutcheon and Randall also garnered a second place brief award.
"Courtney and Seth put their exceptional writing, research and oral advocacy skills to great use in this challenging tournament," said Kris Panikowski, moot court advisor and lawyering skills instructor at USD School of Law. "Their efforts —along with those of their teammates over the past ten months— have secured our moot court program a rank of 13 in the country. The talent and dedication of Courtney, Seth and other national team members continues to demonstrate that our USD law students can compete with students from any school in the country. This has been a truly great year for our moot court program."
McCutcheon and Randall were joined at the competition by third-year USD Law students Derek Hecht and Joanna Simon, who placed in the top 16. The team was coached by Andrew Haden ’07.
This year’s highly competitive Wechsler competition included 32 teams from law schools across the nation including Northwestern Law School, Georgetown Law School and University of Wisconsin Law School.
Competitors at this year’s Wechsler competition addressed the following issues: 1) whether the First Amendment creates a qualified reporter’s privilege against court-compelled discovery of sources; 2) if so, whether the blogger-defendant qualifies as a reporter and therefore is entitled to shield the identity of his anonymous source from the plaintiff in a defamation suit; and 3) whether the business executive-plaintiff is a limited public purpose figure, which then requires the business-executive-plaintiff to establish actual malice in the defamation suit.
The final panel of judges consisted of five federal judges and one constitutional law specialist. The federal judges on the final panel included Judge Kim Wardlaw (Ninth Circuit); Judge Timothy Dyk (Federal Circuit); Judge Thomas Ambro (Third Circuit); Judge Roger Wollman (Eighth Circuit); and Judge Margaret Seymour (D.S.C.).
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