Ontario, Calif., March 1, 2010 – In a highly-competitive, five-round contest, University of La Verne College of Law third-year law students, Thomas Allison and Ayinde Jones, prevailed as the ultimate champions of the Western Regional Black Law Student Association’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition.
The four-month competition evaluating a criminal case involving search and seizure, constitutional rights and the Post-Sentence Supervision Act culminated at the regional convention held Feb. 4-7, 2010 in San Francisco where students from more than six universities presented oral arguments. After arguing in three preliminary rounds and the semi-finals, Allison and Jones battled it out at the US District Courthouse in San Francisco against the team from Southwestern Law School, where the judges unanimously selected the La Verne Law team as the victor.
“Moot court competitions demand extraordinary research and advocacy skills, and require nearly the same level of dedication and preparation that lawyers need on a daily basis to be successful,” said University of La Verne College of Law Dean Allen K. Easley. “Thomas and Ayinde demonstrated a supreme understanding of the issues they were arguing, while also under intense pressure. We congratulate them on their victory and are proud to have them represent La Verne Law in the competition.”
More than 15 teams from California, Nevada and Arizona initially submitted appellate briefs in November in response to the criminal case at hand. Allison and Jones were among several teams that prepared and presented oral arguments to the panel of judges in February.
“Thomas and Ayinde are excellent orators and think well on their feet – they were at the top of their game in this competition,” said Juanda Lowder Daniel, La Verne Law professor and Moot Court advisor. “Several judges noted they were impressed with the team’s global knowledge of the problem, and said it was very evident they had put significant time and effort into preparing.”
Jones says it was the support and guidance from Professor Daniel, and the many hours of research and practice, that helped the team to excel.
“She organized practice rounds and enlisted alumni and former competitors to assist the team,” he said. “The feedback we received from her was priceless. She was simply fantastic.”
The top three teams from each of the six regions will compete for the national title at the National Black Law Students Association’s Annual Convention in Boston March 10-14, 2010. La Verne Law’s Moot Court team last appeared at nationals in 2007, where the team reached the quarterfinals.
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