Dorie Mayne ’12 wins Hardt Cup

April 13, 2010Duke Law News

On April 12, a three-judge panel presented Dorie Mayne with the Hardt Cup, finding her the winner of the Law School’s annual moot court competition for first-year students.

Mayne argued in the final round against Grayson Lambert before Judge James Wynn of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Garrett Brown ’68 of the District of New Jersey, and Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams ’77 of the United States Court of Federal Claims.

“It was a terrific competition this year,” said Dean David F. Levi. “The problem itself was intriguing. The judges were well prepared as were the two student finalists. All three judges expressed to me how impressed they were by the way in which the competition was run and by the two finalists.”

Professor Thomas B. Metzloff, who judged the semifinal round and closely watched the final round, said the problem addressed by the students “combined a novel issue of privacy in the emerging cyber-world with a practical question of the court's power to remedy perceived wrongs.”

“The advocates needed to be able to switch gears on a moment's notice, which they did admirably," Metzloff said. “It is amazing to see first-year law students — who a couple of short months ago had no familiarity with complex legal subjects — be able to handle tough questioning from seasoned judges about difficult concepts.”

The competition is comprised of three preliminary rounds and one final round, all completed within a three-week period. Participation by all 1Ls in the first round of the Hardt Cup is a mandatory component of the Legal Analysis, Research and Writing (LARW) curriculum. Students partipate in subsequent rounds on a voluntary basis with the top eight winners of the third preliminary round moving on to the final round. The top 20 competitors from the preliminary rounds are invited to join the Moot Court Board.

Seventy percent of the Law School’s first year class — 163 students — participated in the optional rounds of the two week tournament, making it the largest Hardt Cup field in the competition’s 46-year history.

“It was very exciting to have the opportunity to argue in front of the faculty and judge panels in later rounds,” Mayne said after her win. “Their questions were so thoughtful and perceptive and forced me to think about the cases in really critical and novel ways. The members of the board also made it a really enjoyable process, and I learned so much from the student judges' feedback.”

Law students launched the Hardt Cup competition in 1964, to honor the memory of first-year student A. Lee Hardt.

The Hardt Cup Competition is sponsored by the Moot Court Board and Thompson & Knight, which generously covered the cost of the event.