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Moot Court Competition Draws Ten from SUNY Cortland

Moot Court Competition Draws Ten from SUNY Cortland

Ten students represented SUNY Cortland at the Eastern Regional Moot Court competition held Nov. 19-20 at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Two of the College’s two-person teams made it to the round of 16 people before being eliminated.

A total of 40 teams responded to questions concerning the commerce clause and a federal law requiring an individual mandate for health insurance and the constitutionality of a state law banning same-sex marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.

“Our teams performed well at the competition and we improved on our standings from last year,” said team advisor Christopher Latimer, an assistant professor of political science and pre-law advisor and the associate director of the Institute for Civic Engagement. 

Three of the five teams made it through to the second day of competition. Senior Danielle Singer received a special award for being the sixth best individual competitor at the event. In addition, the teams of Singer and Shea Tilton and Trevor Curry and Michelle Schnirel earned enough points to be considered for a wild card to the moot court nationals, which will be held in Louisiana in January.

Latimer instructed the moot court class that was offered during the fall semester. The class will be offered each fall and is open to any major at SUNY Cortland.

Cortland sent five teams including: Singer and Tilton; Curry and Schnirel; Grace Mellen and Kyle Martin; Michelle Witowski and Sandra Erickson; and Liz Polonski and Tricia Collado.  

The competition included teams of two from SUNY Albany, Syracuse University, the College of the Holy Cross, Merrimack College, Fitchburg State University, Patrick Henry College, Princeton University, Bridgewater State University, Bentley College and College of New Jersey.

SUNY Cortland teams received financial support from: the President’s Office; Nanette Pasquarello, director of judicial affairs; Bruce Mattingly, dean of arts and sciences; Amy Henderson-Harr, assistant vice president of research and sponsored programs; the Political Science Department; the Political Science Association; and a grant from the Faculty Development Committee.