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Hubbard wins MC's first-ever Moot Court competiton

Barry McNamara
10/20/2011
Morgan Hubbard was the winner of the Top Advocate Award.
Morgan Hubbard, a junior political science major from Stronghurst, was named the Top Advocate at Monmouth College’s first Moot Court competition, which concluded earlier this week.

The other finalists were senior Alex Holt of Evanston, sophomore Kiante Green of Chicago and freshman Phillip Buckwinkler of Gurnee. The case involved the issue of whether the federal government can fix an Establishment Clause violation by transferring a very small piece of natural preserve into a private party’s hands and whether or not the person who brought the suit had legal standing.

The four finalists advanced from a preliminary round, in which participants included senior Claire Winter of St. Charles, junior Joe Florio of Grayslake and sophomores Corbin Beastrom of Cedar Raipds, Iowa, and Garrett Daniel of Glenwood. MC alumnus Dan Cotter, an attorney from Chicago, visited campus the week before the competition to tutor the students in their arguments and presentation.

“Moot Court is a law activity that is typically done in the second year of law school,” said David Timmerman, dean of MC’s faculty. “It involves an appeals case, meaning the facts of the case are not at issue. Rather, the petitioners and respondents are arguing about the interpretation of the law in a given instance.”

In this case, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment guided the issue. That clause states that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Timmerman and assistant professor of political science Annika Hagley worked together in staging the competition and look forward to Moot Court becoming an annual campus event.