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Zoe Niesel wins 39th annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition

First-year law student Zoe Niesel won the 39th annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition at the Wake Forest University School of Law on Friday, April 16.

Arguing a fictitious Title IX case between a university and a female student-athlete, Niesel was able to successfully argue in favor of the defense. Fellow first-year law student David Senter was the runner-up.

The competition’s final round was judged by U.S. District Court Judges William Osteen Jr. and Frank D. Whitney, as well as former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Rhoda Billings. Each of the judges was highly complimentary of both finalists.

“You both really did an excellent job,” said Billings, addressing the court after delivering their decision. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen better.”

Judge Osteen was likewise impressed by the competitors.

“I don’t think many currently practicing lawyers could have done what you all did here today,” he said.

The event fielded 98 initial competitors. The competition is held each spring for first-year law students. Each student wrote a brief and argued twice, once “on-brief” and once “off-brief.” After two weeks, 20 students were invited to join Moot Court, and the top 16 competed in the following week in an elimination tournament leading up to the final round.

Niesel was not the only student to take home an award. Distinctions for Best Brief, Best Oralist, including runners up, and the Debbie Parker Memorial Moot Court Service Award were also given out.

Senter won the Best Brief award, while Joe Maye was the runner-up. The Best Oralist award went to Andrew Berrier, with Alex Lutz earning runner-up. Two students were given the Debbie Parker Memorial Moot Court Service Award: Katy Aultman and Nicole DuPre.

The 2010 Walker Moot Court Competition co-chairs were Katie Serfas and Kelly Beth Bowker.

“Congratulations to all of the competitors, and thanks to the members of the current Moot Court Board for such a successful competition,” Serfas said.