Moot Court team advances to final round

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A Duke Law Moot Court team sweeps through regional rounds and will advance to the national final rounds of the ABA's National Appellate Advocacy Competition, to be held in Chicago from April 3 to 5

ABA Moot Court team
From left to right: John Fred, Dave Almeling, Lew Schlossberg and Allyson Jones

The Duke Law Moot Court team of Dave Almeling ’04, John Fred ’04, and Allyson Jones ’04, coached by Lew Schlossberg ’03, triumphed in the regional rounds of the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition, held Feb. 27 to March 1 in Washington, D.C. The team now will advance to the national final rounds of the competition in Chicago, April 3 to 5.

The Duke Law team of Judson Brown ’04, Trey Childress ’04, and Dave Koysza ’04, coached by Jacquelyn Sumer ’03 and Meg Turner ’03, also performed well at the competition, advancing to the final round before narrowly losing to the second-seeded George Washington team.

The team of Almeling, Fred, and Jones, accumulated a perfect 5-0 record at the competition, defeating the 13th-seeded George Mason team in the semifinals and the fifth-seeded Georgia team in the final round. The team also received an award at the competition for fourth-best brief.

The ABA competition this year focuses on two issues: a Fourth Amendment issue and a Sixth Amendment issue. The Fourth Amendment issue concerns whether a “foreign intelligence” warrant exception to the Fourth Amendment should be recognized so that the U.S. government may conduct warrantless searches abroad of U.S. citizens who are part of a “foreign power” or are agents of a foreign power. The Sixth Amendment issue concerns whether a defense attorney's concession at the start of trial, over his client's express objection, of guilt to a lesser-included offense constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel per se under United States v. Chonic.

Duke Law team members said they were thrilled with their victories and the chance to move on to the next level of competition. “I couldn't be happier or more excited,” said Fred. “All of us put in a tremendous amount of work preparing for the competition, and it’s nice to see that it paid off. Hopefully, we'll be able to represent Duke Law well in Chicago.”

Added Almeling: “I am very excited about our success at regionals, mainly because I enjoy working with my team and coach. I also am very grateful for this opportunity to work closely with students, professors, and practitioners.”