November 14, 2007
South Texas College of Law team wins competition
CARBONDALE, Ill. — A team from South Texas College of Law in Houston captured the 16th annual National Health Law Moot Court Competition this past weekend at Southern Illinois University School of Law.
The team of Kaylyn Betts, Natalie Barletta and Ben Williams placed first in the Nov. 10 finals, earning their school a $1,000 scholarship from the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation. South Texas defeated the Seton Hall School of Law team of Nicole Gerritsen and Jonathan Henry in the finals. Seaton Hall receives a $750 scholarship, also from the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation.
A second team from South Texas College of Law — Mary Katherine Gunn, Sara Patterson and Stephen E. Randall — finished third. That team receives a $500 scholarship from the legal medicine foundation.
The title marks the sixth time in nine years that a team from South Texas College of Law won the event. South Texas College of Law also won championships in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.
Thirty teams from 22 law schools from around the country competed in the two-day event — the only health law moot court competition in the nation. Teams consist of second- and third-year law school students.
SIUC law professor W. Eugene Basanta, the Southern Illinois Healthcare Professor of Law, was pleased with the events.
"Across the board the teams were all very strong," he said, noting there were a number of new teams competing for the first time, or others, such as Seton Hall, who had not participated in the event for several years.
"I thought our moot court board did a great job in staging the competition," Basanta said.
He also praised the efforts of attorneys who served as volunteer judges in preliminary rounds. Participating attorneys were able to earn continuing legal education credits by assisting in the event.
Competitors argued a hypothetical case before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue was the constitutionality of a state statute requiring pharmacists to fill contraceptive prescriptions, while prohibiting them from articulating any moral objections to customers having those prescriptions filled.
Seton Hall's Gerritsen and Henry submitted the best legal brief, earning a $500 scholarship from American College of Legal Medicine Foundation. The ACLM's scholarly journal, "Journal of Legal Medicine," will publish the brief.
South Texas College of Law's Betts, Barletta and Williams submitted the runner-up best legal brief, earning $250 from the SIU School of Law's Center for Health Law and Policy.
William Godfrey of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law received the competition's best overall oralist award and a $500 scholarship from the American College of Legal Medicine. Sara Siegall from Chicago Kent College of Law won the title of best preliminary round oralist and will receive $250 from the law school's Center for Health Law and Policy.
Panelists for the final round of competition were U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit Judge Michael S. Kanne; U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri Catherine D. Perry; American College of Legal Medicine President Bruce H. Seidberg; and SIU School of Law Professor Paul E. McGreal. McGreal drafted the issue the teams argued.
The law school's Center for Health Law and Policy, the School of Medicine's Department of Medical Humanities, the American College of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation co-sponsor the event.
Next year's competition is tentatively set for Nov. 7-8.
Participating law schools were: Albany Law School, Albany, N.Y.; Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, N.Y.; Chicago-Kent College of Law; George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Va.; Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minn.; Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis; the John Marshall School of Law, Chicago; Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Loyola University New Orleans School of Law; Quinnipiac University School of Law, Hamden, Conn.; St. Louis University School of Law; Seton Hall School of Law, Newark, N.J.; South Texas College of Law, Houston; Suffolk University Law School, Boston; Texas Tech University School of Law; University of Kansas School of Law; University of Louisville School of Law; University of Maryland School of Law; University of New Mexico School of Law; University of Pittsburgh School of Law; University of Tulsa College of Law, and Wake Forest University School of Law.