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Drake Moot Court Teams compete in national contest

November 26, 2007
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The petitioner team of Miriam Epstein, David James and Erin Grundy.

The Drake Law School National Moot Court Teams competed in the Regional Round of the 58th annual National Moot Court Competition on Nov. 15-17, at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis.

Both Drake teams advanced to the semi-finals, only to lose by a fraction of a point. Both teams therefore failed to advance. Each won recognition, however, for its appellate brief. The Drake team of Miriam Epstein, Erin Grundy and David James received the Third Best Brief award. Ashley Dose, Jacob Lofgren, Kevin Teets won the Fifth Best Brief award.

In addition, four Drake Law students were awarded individual oralist awards. James won First Best Oralist; Teets won Second Best Oralist; Lofgren won Third Best Oralist; and Grundy won Fourth Best Oralist.

Both Drake teams entered the elimination rounds undefeated and entered the quarter finals round as one and two seeds. The Grundy, Epstein, James team was defeated by the William Mitchell team, which won the Overall Best Brief Award. The Lofgren, Dose, Teets team was defeated by a University of Minnesota team, which won Second Best Brief.

The case concerned a state gun control law that requires that handguns be registered and kept in a non-functional condition and that prohibits the delivery of handgun ammunition to persons under the age of 18.

The law students argued two questions of first impression: whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives individual citizens the right to keep and bear arms; and whether federal law preempts a state's ability to restrict the interstate delivery of handgun ammunition to its minors.

More than 150 law schools and more than 185 teams competed in the 14 regional competitions held in November. Only 28 teams advance to the national finals in New York City.

The Des Moines law firm of Whitfield & Eddy sponsored the team. The National Moot Court Competition, co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the New York City Bar, is one of the oldest and most prestigious of its kind in the country, is jointly sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

In 17 years, a Drake team has advanced to the finals 15 times in 17 years and won first place in the regional competition 12 times. At the national level, Drake won the national championship in 2000; and in 2004, finished second in the nation; in both 2005 and 2003 finished as national semi-finalist; and in 2006 Drake made it to the national quarter finals.