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ASU Moot Court team closes out season with win at Baylor School of Law

March 11, 2010 -- The Arkansas State University Moot Court team finished out their 2009-2010 season with a winning performance at the Baylor School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court tournament in Waco, Texas, Feb.26-27. The team was able to win both the top university and tournament championships, as well as achieving a ranking of first in combined average score among all universities that entered more than one team. The ASU Moot Court team also fielded four of the top ten speakers in the tournament.

Jervonne Newsome, a senior philosophy major from Jonesboro and the top-ranked speaker, received the Gregory Speaker Award and a cash priz
Abram Skarda, second from left, and Daniel Shults, third from left, pose with their plaques after finishing the ASU Moot Court season with wins at Baylor School of Law.e. Abram Skarda, a junior political science major from Des Arc, was the third-place speaker, Steven Densmore, a freshman political science major from Jonesboro, was the fourth-place speaker, and Lilia Pacheco, a sophomore political science major from Jonesboro, finished as the seventh-place speaker. This was Densmore’s first tournament.

“I am particularly proud of Steven Densmore and Eric Fiszer,” said Dr. Richard Wang, chair of the department of political science. “These two students wanted to compete even though they had just started moot court a few weeks ago. They showed a lot of courage and represented our university well.” Fiszer is a freshman political science major from Brookland.

Pacheco and Newsome won the tournament in a unanimous decision from the five-judge panel, besting Kristen Hines and Spencer Robuck of Stephen F. Austin State University, and after defeating teams from other schools like Baylor University throughout the tournament. The Pacheco-Newsome team had the distinction of not losing a single ballot throughout the competition, while facing 20 judges. In addition, Daniel Shults, a junior political science major from Pocahontas, and Skarda ended the tournament in seventh place after losing to a team from Baylor University in the quarterfinals.

The final round of the tournament was particularly meaningful for Hacker because Kristen Hines was a former student whom he had taught at Stephen F. Austin State University.  Hacker also recruited Spencer Robuck to the SFASU team just before leaving to come to ASU.

“They [Hines and Robuck] are quite close to Lilia and Jervonne,” Hacker said. “So, the final round was almost a family affair. It was an intensely argued round among close friends.”

During this season, the ASU Moot Court team has placed in all five tournaments in which they have competed. They earned top speaker awards in three tournaments and won both the top university and tournament championships at the South Central Regional Championships and the Baylor School of Law tournament. The team placed fifth at nationals in oral argument and brief writing, and third at the Texas Wesleyan School of Law tournament.

“This is the most successful team of my coaching career, led by the most talented speakers I have ever coached,” said Hacker. “We are successful because our students are talented and hardworking. They know moot court teaches valuable skills for whatever profession they pursue, not just a career as an attorney.”

For more information about Arkansas State University Moot Court Team, contact Dr. Hans Hacker at
--Molly Carpenter, senior public relations student intern in the Office of Public Relations, researched and wrote this release.

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