The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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April 7, 2004

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications, (512) 471.7330
Event and press contact: Don Cruse, Coach, ABA Moot Court Team, 512-936-1827

UT Appellate Advocacy Team Honored at National Competition

AUSTIN, Texas — A University of Texas School of Law moot court team placed third out of the more than 130 teams that entered the 2004 ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Team members Connie Pfeiffer, Carol Funk, and Heather Fraley advanced to the semifinals round at the national finals in Chicago to earn that honor.

Each team was scored on its oral advocacy and the quality of an appellate brief written by the students. Among all speakers at the national tournament, Funk received recognition as the third best advocate and Pfeiffer received recognition as the fifth best advocate. The team's brief was also recognized as the fifth best brief overall. The Texas team was the only one at the national tournament to have its brief and both speakers so honored.

In order to be among the sixteen teams invited to the national tournament, the team first had to win the Washington, D.C. regional competition in February. At that tournament, both speakers were also honored, with Connie Pfeiffer ranked as the best oral advocate in the region while teammate Carol Funk ranked second. And the team's brief was the best brief in the Washington, D.C. region.

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.

"The judges consistently praised the students' advocacy skills as among the very best," said Campbell. "Their success in this prestigious contest should be recognized as an incredible accomplishment."