Atlanta's John Marshall Moot Court Team Scores Historic Victory

April 2014

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) moot team made history by winning the 2014 Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition. The victory represents a milestone for the law school. Every year, law schools in the state of Georgia compete against each other at Intrastate, where student competitors are scored on written briefs and oral advocacy skills. Until this year, the University of Georgia (UGA) has enjoyed a comfortable eight-year winning streak. This would all change in 2014 as the winning team, consisting of students Kimberly Stahl (Cartersville, GA), Daniel Ybanz (Port Orange, FL), Mathis Wilkens and Derek Gross, scored an upset. The AJMLS moot team defeated teams from the University of Georgia, Mercer University, Georgia State University and Emory University during the two-day event held at Emory University from March 21, 2014 to March 22, 2014. Advancing to the final round of the competition were the moot teams from AJMLS and UGA. Kimberly Stahl and Mathis Wilkens represented the AJMLS Moot Team in the finals. Associate Professor Suparna Malempati, who took over as the Director of Advocacy Programs in August of 2013, had this to say about the progress that has led to the school’s success, “This year marked significant achievements for the Moot Court program at AJMLS.  Last semester, the AJMLS moot team was recognized in a national competition by winning Best Defendant’s Brief, Best Combined Briefs, and advancing to the Semi-Finals where the team placed Third overall in the 2013 Stetson University National Pre-Trial Competition. Oral advocacy and legal writing are a focus of our curriculum at John Marshall. The faculty are committed to the practical training of our students and provide tremendous support. We have also added two incredibly dedicated alumni coaches: Michael Bauer and Thomas Lyman. We have always known that our students are diligent and talented. I am just so pleased to see that they are being recognized for all of their hard work. Last, but certainly not least, we have had tremendous support this year from the faculty. Professors Baker, Boone, D’Agostino, De Haven, Doneff, Mears, and Van Detta tirelessly benched our competitors so that they were thoroughly prepared to walk away with the winning prize.” LoriBeth Westbrook, the current Chair of Moot Court added, “Although we did not expect such a dramatic impact so soon, our success at Georgia Intrastate and at Stetson demonstrates that the changes we have made to the program are on a positive course.”