Students Display Outstanding Advocacy Skills in 32nd Annual Stanley Competition

For the past 32 years, the Wake Forest University School of Law Moot Court Board has conducted an intramural moot court competition in honor of the late Judge Edwin M. Stanley.  Judge Stanley, a distinguished Wake Forest alumnus and supporter, served as a United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina from 1958 to 1968. 

This year, 72 students competed in the Stanley Competition and argued an appeal which focused on whether the FBI had legally executed a search warrant when agents entered the office of Anthony Baritoni to search for evidence of money laundering.  Second year students David Cole, from Seattle,Washington, and Megan Johnson, from Virginia, skillfully argued for their clients through several competitive rounds during November and found themselves in the final round on November 21, 2003.  

Cole, representing the appellant Anthony Baritoni and Johnson, representing the United States, argued in front of a distinguished national panel of judges including The Honorable Donald Lemons from the Supreme Court of Virginia, The Honorable Ruth V. McGregor from the Supreme Court of Arizona, and The Honorable Karen J. Williams from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Both finalists impressed the judges with their outstanding knowledge of criminal procedure and polished oral advocacy skills, but in the end, the judges declared Megan Johnson the 2003 Stanley Competition winner.

In addition to the competition winner, The James C. Berkowitz Award for Best Oralist is traditionally announced at this event. The person who receives this award has earned the highest total score for oral advocacy in the early rounds of the Stanley Competition.   It is presented in memory of Jim Berkowitz, a Wake Forest law student who died in a tragic automobile accident while traveling to the law school to argue in the 1984 Stanley Competition.  In 1986, Jim’s parents established an endowed award for best oralist.  The 2003 Berkowitz Award went to David Cole for his excellent oral advocacy talents.

The law school congratulates all participants in the 2003 Stanley Competition and sends out special congratulations to Megan Johnson and David Cole for their exceptional advocacy skills displayed throughout the competition.