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Judge killed in Arizona shootings had planned to visit Liberty

January 10, 2011 : Mitzi Bible/Liberty University News Service

U.S. District Judge John Roll, one of the victims in Saturday’s shootings in Arizona, was scheduled to judge a Moot Court competition at Liberty University School of Law in March.

“This makes the tragedy hit home,” said Mat Staver, dean of the law school. Six people were killed in the shootings.

Roll, named Arizona’s chief judge in 2006, was recommended to Staver by Roll's friend and colleague James Teilborg, also a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, after Teilborg judged Liberty’s Moot Court competition last spring.

“He (Teilborg) was so impressed with the law school that he contacted Judge Roll and put us in touch with him,” Staver said. “We were looking forward to meeting the judge and it’s tragic he’s not going to be with us.”

Liberty holds two Moot Court competitions a year, one for first-year students in the spring and one for second- and third-year students in the fall. In Moot Court tournaments, two-student teams argue in front of nine-judge panel in the school’s replica of the Supreme Courtroom.

“We try to get a variety of judges from around the nation who are some of the top judges -- in both state and federal courts, including the appellate courts,” Staver said. “Judge Roll was certainly one of the judges that fit our criteria.”

The judges who have committed to serve on the panel in March include: Judge Robert Newsom, District Judge for Hopkins County, Texas; Judge Steven Agee, Fourth Circuit; Judge Keith Kautz, Eighth Judicial District Wyoming; Judge Charles Strauss, Circuit Court, Pittsylvania County; Judge Rossie Alston, Virginia Court of Appeals; and Judge Frederick Rockwell, Circuit Court, Chesterfield County, Va.

  • Read more about Roll and his legacy on CNN online.