School of Law brings home 4th National Moot Court Competition title

The School of Law proudly brought home the 2019-20 National Moot Court Competition title, making it the fourth time UGA has captured the prestigious top trophy. Notably, only one law school in the nation has captured more (Georgetown University has five).

The National Moot Court Competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious advocacy tournaments in the country. The 70-year-old competition regularly features teams from more than 120 law schools across the country, involving approximately 1,000 students each year.

Third-year law students Jonathan Kaufman, John Lex Kenerly IV and Joseph H. “Joe” Stuhrenberg represented UGA in the tournament, and Stuhrenberg was named the competition’s best oralist.

Moot Court

Third-year students John Lex Kenerly (left), Jonathan Kaufman (holding trophy) and Joe Stuhrenberg are pictured with American College of Trial Lawyers President Douglas Young (right) after winning the National Moot Court Competition title in February. Photo courtesy of the New York City Bar Association.

“This significant accomplishment reflects the extraordinary preparation and skill of these three students and the overall excellence of the School of Law’s advocacy program led by Kellie Casey,” said President Jere W. Morehead (J.D.’80), who served as the law school’s director of advocacy from 1986 to 1995. “They all have brought great distinction to the University of Georgia.”

After prevailing in regional rounds of the competition, Kaufman, Kenerly and Stuhrenberg were undefeated in the national tier of the tournament, which was held during February in New York City. The UGA trio overcame teams from the law schools at Georgetown University, Loyola University Chicago and Drake University before beating Saint Louis University in the final round.

“Our victory at one of the most respected competitions in the country is certainly something to celebrate,” Director of Advocacy Kellie Casey (J.D.’90) said. “Our team combined talent, intellect and hard work to win this tournament, and I am very proud of them.”

Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said the efforts of the law school’s students – and of coaches and law school faculty members Kellie Casey and Rob McNiff (J.D.’02) – have paid off wonderfully. “Our focus at the School of Law is to provide our students with first-rate legal training so they can become future leaders of state and society, and this win is proof that we are achieving that goal.”

UGA now boasts 8 national, 6 regional and 3 state advocacy titles over the past 5 years.

Previous National Moot Court Competition Champions

Emily Westberry O’Brian (J.D.’14), Steven L. Strasberg (J.D.’14) and Benjamin W. “Ben” Thorpe (J.D.’14); Adviser Kellie Casey (J.D.’90)

Kerry Harike Joedecke (J.D.’97), Chandler W. Mason (J.D.’97) and Thomas J. “Tom” Mew IV (J.D.’97); Adviser Richard Ford (J.D.’88)

Julia Lynch Bassett (J.D.’92), Gregory A. “Greg” Gunter (J.D.’92) and Mark A. Lewis (J.D.’92); Adviser Jere W. Morehead (J.D.’80)

The National Moot Court Competition is co-sponsored by the New York City Bar Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers.