Team Advances to National Finals in Chicago
AUSTIN, Texas — A University of Texas School of Law moot court team won the regional championship in the 2004 ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition and will advance to the national finals in Chicago in early April. Team members Connie Pfeiffer, Carol Funk, and Heather Fraley bested a team from Duke University in the final round to earn that honor.
Each team was scored on the quality of a written appellate brief filed by the students and their oral advocacy on behalf of their position. The Texas team excelled at both. Its brief ranked first among the 33 teams competing at the Washington, D.C., regional. And team members dominated the oral advocacy portion of the competition with Connie Pfeiffer ranked as the best oral advocate in the region while teammate Carol Funk ranked second among all oral advocates.
The team is coached by Don Cruse, an assistant solicitor general at Texas’s Office of the Attorney General and a 1999 graduate of the Law School, and John Campbell, an associate at McKool Smith and a 2002 graduate of the Law School.
“A number of judges commented that the quality of the team members’ advocacy was already at the highest level of the appellate bar,” said Cruse. “There simply wasn’t anything else that could have been asked of this team at what was a very tough regional. I’m proud of their hard work to advance to nationals.”
The ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition is the largest and most prestigious moot court competition in the country. This year’s topic involves the tension between free speech and national security in the wake of September 11. The national finals will be held in Chicago on April 1-3.