Nova Champs with Final Round Judges

Billings, Exum, and Frye National Moot Court Competition

Seventeen law schools and 32 teams of law students participated in the inaugural Billings, Exum, and Frye National Moot Court Competition at Elon University School of Law on April 1 and 2, 2011.

David Gergen, chair of Elon Law's national advisory board, former 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 for the 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. Joy Foglietta and Bennett Lessmann of Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center won the competition, after a well-contested final round against Linh Flores, Amy Labzentis, and Matthew Roche of Regent University School of Law, who took second place. Lessmann also won the Best Oral Advocate award for the final round.

"Elon Law and its moot court board are grateful for the tremendous support the competition received from alumni, attorneys, law firms, and distinguished jurists," said Alan Woodlief, an associate dean and professor at Elon Law and director of the school's moot court program. "The level of competition in this inaugural competition was exceptional, and we look forward to next year's competition."

The competition took place at the Elon University School of Law and at the Guilford County Courthouse, both in downtown Greensboro, with the Competition Awards Banquet held at the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 2. Competitors were judged on the quality of their appellate briefs and oral arguments. During the two-day competition, 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 federal courts.

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