Joy Foglietta and Bennett Lessmann, both third year Law Center students, won first place at the Billings, Exum and Frye National Moot Court Competition after a well-contested final round against Regent University School of Law students. Lessmann also won the Best Oral Advocate award for the final round.
Seventeen law schools and 32 teams of law students participated in the inaugural competition at Elon University School of Law. David Gergen, adviser to four U.S. presidents, CNN senior political analyst, and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, delivered the keynote address at the competition banquet.
The competition honors three of North Carolina’s most distinguished lawyers: Rhoda Bryan Billings, James G. Exum, Jr. and Henry E. Frye. Each has served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and in a variety of leadership positions within the legal profession and in public life. All three justices are founding members of Elon Law’s national advisory board.
More than 100 distinguished judges and lawyers volunteered to serve as judges for the competition, including Steven M. Colloton, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, five justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Sarah Parker, four judges of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and two judges of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Competitors were judged on the quality of their appellate brief and oral arguments. During the two-day competition at Elon, each team participated in a minimum of four rounds, arguing a hypothetical problem before panels of accomplished jurists, legal scholars and attorneys. The problem focused on a constitutional law issue currently under consideration by the federal1 courts.
Foglietta and Lessmann as the top scoring team in the preliminaries then defeated University of Virginia in the quarterfinals, again receiving the top score out of the eight advancing teams. In the semifinals, they defeated Florida Coastal. In the final, they defeated Regent University.
Professors Khan, Webber, Rohr, Masinter, Jarvis, Litman, Dobson, Duhart