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Oral Advocacy Tournament Champion Revealed

Finalists Meredith Berge and Kirby Stephens

On Thursday, April 17, the UK College of Law’s Legal Research and Writing Program hosted the Championship Round of the First Year Oral Advocacy Tournament. Students, faculty and staff filled the Courtroom as the two final student advocates, Meredith Berge, Counsel for the Appellant, and Kirby Stephens, Counsel for the Appellee, appeared before an esteemed panel of “justices” that included: Justice Daniel Venters of the Kentucky Supreme Court, Susan Clary, Clerk of the Kentucky Supreme Court, and UK Law Professor Cortney Lollar.

The tournament is the result of a single-elimination moot court competition where students make oral arguments relating to their appellate brief problem for their Legal Research and Writing course. This year’s problem involved a juvenile who was adjudicated a public offender on the charge of first degree wanton endangerment for throwing rocks at cars on Interstate-64. She was appealing the denial of her motion for a directed verdict and also seeking a jury trial. Currently, juveniles in Kentucky do not have a right to a jury trial.

On Monday, April 21, Kirby Stephens was named the Best Overall Oral Advocate at the Moot Court TAB Legal Writing Banquet held at the Hilary J. Boone Center. Students Gardner Bell and Colton Givens were honored for Overall Best Briefs for the Appellant and Tatiana Lipsey was honored for Overall Best Brief for the Appellee.

“It really is an incredible honor to win Best Overall, especially because of how many talented students we have at our school,” says Stephens. “I was able to listen to many arguments through each round and through practice and I am just incredibly proud of myself and of all the work everyone put into the tournament.”

Congratulations to all College of Law 1L advocates!

En Route to the Championship

Quarter-Final Round

  • Meredith Berge
  • Hillary Chambers
  • Joey Cox
  • Caitlin Gallaher
  • Tyler Gayheart
  • Colton Givens
  • Arash Hamidi
  • Rachel Hepburn
  • Nolan Jackson
  • Mary Katherine Kington
  • Zachary Mattioni
  • Dylan Merrill
  • Sam Reinhardt
  • Kirby Stephens
  • Sarah Tipton
  • Mary Ellen Wimberly

Semi-Final Round

  • Meredith Berge
  • Arash Hamidi
  • Kirby Stephens
  • Mary Ellen Wimberly

Championship Round

  • Meredith Berge
  • Kirby Stephens