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April 14, 2005

Press Contact: Jodi Bart, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.

2Ls Teresa Chin and Natasha Self Win 2005 Admiralty Moot Court Competition

This is the sixth time (fourth time in a row) that UT Law has won

Photo of Admiralty Moot Court Winners
Natasha Self, Mrs. Vera Brown (Judge Brown's widow), and Teresa Chin

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas won its sixth national title at the Twelfth Annual Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition held on April 7-9 in Richmond, Virginia. The championship team was made up of UT Law students Teresa Chin, ‘06 and Natasha Self, ’06. The team also won the Maritime Law Association Award for best brief in the competition. Teresa Chin won the Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams Award for best oral advocate of the tournament.

The team's success was particularly noteworthy because this is the first time in the competition's twelve-year history that a school has won the title four years in a row.

Chris Sapstead, '01, coached the team. He is an associate with Crampton & Associates, P.C. in Austin. Sapstead is a past winner of the Royston Rayzor Vickery & Williams Award as the best oral advocate in the competition.

"This year's competition was challenging for our team because they are second-year students and neither had taken any Admiralty classes,” said Sapstead. “Despite the handicaps, Teresa and Natasha rose to the challenge in Richmond and have agreed to defend their title next year when Tulane will host the competition in New Orleans."

This year 20 teams from 12 schools across the country participated in the event, held at the Lewis F. Powell Jr. U.S. Courthouse (the seat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit). The University of Texas co-sponsors this competition each year with a local host school. This year the local host was the University of Richmond Law School. UT Law Professors Michael Sturley, David Robertson, and Ernest Young write the problem, prepare the bench memorandum, and generally administer the competition each year. Logistical arrangements were handled by the Admiralty Director at UT Law on the Board of Advocates staff, Jill Troxel, '05 and Joshua Terry, ’07.

UT Law has one of the top Admiralty law faculties in the United States. David Robertson, who holds the W. Page Keeton Chair in Tort Law, is one of the nation's leading experts in admiralty law. Robertson's work has been cited many times by the U.S. Supreme Court, and he is the author of numerous texts, including the classic Admiralty and Federalism (Foundation, 1970). Michael F. Sturley, the Stanley D. and Sandra J. Rosenberg Centennial Professor, has written extensively on commercial aspects of maritime law. His publications include The Legislative History of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and the Travaux Preparatories of the Hague Rules (Rothman, 1990). Ernest A. Young was the 2004 Chair of the Maritime Law section of the American Association of Law Schools.

Related Links:

Tower to be Lighted in Honor of UT Law's Moot Court National Champions, April 29: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/042605_tower.html

UT Law Wins its Fifth Title: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/040204_admiralty.html