Champion Named in 2007 1L Moot Court Tournament

May 01, 2007

Nathaniel Hibben (left) was named Champion of the Liberty University School of Law 1L Moot Court Tournament. The final round of the third annual tournament was held in the newly finished Supreme Courtroom and was judged by a panel of nine judges (below). David Nauheim was the runner up in the competition.

Each member of the first-year class was assigned to represent either Barbara Jones or Melissa Carter. Over the four-day tournament, each student made at least two arguments. After the first two rounds, the top sixteen students advanced to the quarter-finals where they had to be prepared to argue either side of the case. The top two speakers from each quarter-final round advanced to the semifinal rounds and the top speaker from each semi-final round advanced to the finals. Each of the finalists made two back-to-back arguments: one representing their client, and one representing the other party.

Scott Thompson, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Lawyering Skills, invited local attorneys and judges to participate in the tournament. They served as judges for the tournament and critiqued each student’s argument. Professor Thompson stated that the judges throughout the tournament were uniformly complimentary of our students advocacy. “Our students continue to impress the judges who visit and observe their arguments. Both Mr. Hibben and Mr. Nauheim demonstrated exceptional ability to advance to the finals, and poise under fire in front of what was a very aggressive final round panel.”

Students appreciated the valuable feedback provided over the course of the tournament. Tournament Champion Nathaniel Hibben commented, “The feedback from the judges was constructive and will certainly help us improve our oral advocacy skills. The chance to argue before nine sitting judges was unique - the Lawyering Skills program is excellent in terms of its "real life" applicability. I will rely upon the lessons learned in this tournament throughout law school and my career.”

David Nauheim agreed, “It was the experience of a lifetime to argue before nine real judges in a replica of the US Supreme Court. I am grateful to all of the lawyers and judges who volunteered their time and traveled a long way to be a part of the tournament.”

The Honorable Joseph A. Canada, Jr., of the Virginia Beach Circuit Court, said that the performance of the students was a good indication of the competency of the program and the quality of the students at Liberty University School of Law.

The Honorable Walter S. Felton, Jr., of the Virginia Court of Appeals, encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities to participate in moot court competitions. “A time to get before a judge provides for you a sense of what being a lawyer is like. The relationship of a judge to counsel is one of colleagues.”

The final round judges included The Honorable James C. Turk, U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia; The Honorable Walter S. Felton, Jr., Virginia Court of Appeals; The Honorable Robert J. Humphreys, Virginia Court of Appeals; The Honorable William G. Petty, Virginia Court of Appeals; The Honorable J. Leyburn Mosby, Lynchburg Circuit Court; The Honorable Joseph A. Canada, Jr., Virginia Beach Circuit Court; The Honorable Charles D. Griffith, Jr., Norfolk Circuit Court; The Honorable William N. Alexander, II, Franklin County Circuit Court; and The Honorable Kenneth W. Farrar, Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.