Graves '09 Earns Best Oralist Honors in Moot Court Competition

December 7, 2007

Second-year law student Brandon Graves was named Best Oralist at the 26th Annual John Marshall Law School International Moot Court Competition in Information Technology and Privacy Law, held in Chicago Oct. 18-20. This was the first year Virginia Law students participated in the competition, and Graves was able to top 52 law students from 26 schools.

ParksEach participating team, most consisting of two people, submitted a brief stating their argument related to the assigned issue. This year, "the issue concerned an employer who lost some personal data of an employee who was suing them," Graves said.

Once the teams arrived in Chicago, they had 30 minutes to argue their case before a judge.

Graves said he and his teammate, first-year law student Alton Burton, divided the time evenly between the two of them, as did most teams. Each team had a chance to rebut their opponent, then the scores were tallied and the winning team advanced to the next round.

Graves' wife had a baby shortly before the competition, which affected his team's performance, he said. "We didn't do as well as a team as I would have liked because the brief was due the day we got out of the hospital," he explained. "I would have liked to prepare more but we just didn't have time."

Although he and his partner were unable to perform as well as Graves hoped, "it was nice to get some unique feedback that what I was doing was the way it was supposed to be done," he said.

According to third-year law student Jonathan Ware, extramural vice-chair of the Moot Court Board, the Board will likely send 24 teams to competitions this year. The teams are coached by litigators from the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, as well as prior student competitors from the Board. The next competitions will take place in February and March.

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