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Tulane Students Take 2nd Place in National Moot Court Contest

November 01, 2017 5:31 AM

For many Tulane students, the last weekend in October involved preparing for Halloween or attending Voodoo Fest.  That wasn't the case for four talented Tulane Moot Court students who took second place in a prestigious national mock trial competition.

 The third-year law students took part in both prosecuting and defending a complex federal wire fraud case in the In Vino Veritas trial competition hosted by Golden Gate Law School in San Francisco, Calif.  There were 16 teams and 64 advocates from across the country including from New York, Florida, California and Washington DC.

 Tulane's team of Miriam Gentile, Marcella Lupski, Anna Potter and Jackson Smith went undefeated in four preliminary, quarter-final and semi-final trial rounds where they had to try both sides of the case. Tulane's team ultimately came in second, losing by a razor-thin margin in the final trial that was held in Sonoma County, Calif.

 In addition to the team's outstanding second place finish in this nationally recognized trial event, Potter, an advocate, was recognized with the award for the Best Opening Statement of the competition. Smith was recognized with the award for Most Outstanding Overall Advocate for the entire competition.

 The case itself involved multi-million dollar investment by a California NBA basketball star in a winery in Central America who claimed he was defrauded by the defendant. The advocates had to examine and cross examine both lay and expert witnesses, together with making opening statements and closing arguments.

The team was coached by longtime Tulane Adjunct Professor William Sommers.

 Congratulations team, for once again bringing national awards to Tulane Law School and its Moot Court program!