The Northern Illinois University College of Law recently hosted its 32nd annual Lenny B. Mandell Moot Court Competition for second-year law students.
The finals resulted in the 2014 Moot Court champion team of Jesse Guth and Nick Perrone as they defeated the combination of Steve Hegedus and Jason Jordan.
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The teams argued before the distinguished bench of Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, Illinois Supreme Court; Judge James F. Holderman, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois; and Professor Barry Sullivan, Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law, Loyola University School of Law.
The case on appellate review argued by the teams involved a suit filed by a mother against a juvenile detention facility to recover damages for the death of her son while he was in juvenile custody. The juvenile detention facility employed discipline in the manner of a military boot camp. The question on appeal concerned how the suit may be maintained and the appropriate legal standards to be applied.
Following the final round, students were honored for their outstanding participation during the awards banquet hosted by Chief Justice Kate Guensburg (3L) and the Moot Court Society. In addition to winning the competition, Guth was named best oralist in the final round as well as the preliminary rounds. Nick Lofgren was honored as second best oralist of the preliminary rounds. Hegedus and Jordan were awarded with the best respondents' brief, and the best petitioners' brief was awarded to the team of Jason Betke and Latoyia Kimbrough.
This was the first year of the competition under its newly-dedicated name, the Lenny B. Mandell Moot Court Competition. Professor Lenny Mandell retired last year as associate dean for student services and having served as faculty advisor for the Moot Court Society for 31 years. He was succeeded in the role as Moot Court faculty advisor by Distinguished Teaching Professor David Taylor. A longtime advocate and coach of various NIU Law co-curricular trial and appellate competition teams, Taylor also serves as director of skills training.
"I am honored to be entrusted with carrying on the fine moot court tradition Lenny Mandell started at the College of Law and oversaw for 31 years," Taylor said. "The competition is always a highlight of the academic year and gives second-year students the opportunity to utilize their developing analytical skills in an oral advocacy setting."