November 07, 2017

Texas Tech law school claims health law moot court title

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Texas Tech University School of Law won its first National Health Law Moot Court competition this past weekend at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s SIU School of Law. 

The team of Ryley Bennett and Jordan Fowler won the title, beating defending champion South Texas College of Law Houston in the finals. Bennett and Fowler also earned the best brief award and Bennett won both preliminary round and best overall oralist. 

The team from South Texas College of Law Houston, seeking its ninth event title, was represented by Sadiq Ali and Ryan Swink. 

Seton Hall University School of Law finished third. The team of Nicole Allocca, Michael Cort and Stephen Krachie also submitted the second-place brief. 

The Nov. 3-4 moot court featured 30 teams from 20 law schools. The event, celebrating its 26th anniversary, is the only mock U.S. Supreme Court competition dedicated to the always evolving and expanding topic of health law. 

This year’s fictitious lawsuit centered on a product liability claim against a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The plaintiff, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, contends the company marketed a generic pharmaceutical with insufficient warnings, which resulted in serious side effects not listed on the drug’s labeling.  The generic drug manufacturer alleges the plaintiff’s claims are preempted by federal food and drug law, which requires generic drug labels to be identical to those of the name brand drug.  The name brand drug updated its label, but it took the generic manufacturer six months to update its label.  A second issue involves the authority of a trial court to award attorney’s fees as costs when a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses a complaint and later refiles it in another jurisdiction. 

The final round judges are Justice Richard P. Goldenhersh, Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois; Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly, U.S. District Court for the District of Southern Illinois, and C. William Hinnant, president of the American College of Legal Medicine. 

Participating law schools are: Baylor Law School; Chicago-Kent College of Law; George State University College of Law; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Mitchell Hamline School of Law; New York Law School; Notre Dame Law School; Nova Southeastern University; St. Louis University School of Law; Seton Hall School of Law; Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law; South Texas College of Law Houston; Suffolk University Law School; Texas Tech University School of Law; University of California, Hastings College of Law; University of Houston Law Center; University of Mississippi School of Law; University of New Mexico School of Law and University of Tulsa College of Law. 

The SIU School of Law, the SIU School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Humanities, the American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM), and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation co-sponsored the event.