Students Competed and Questioned a Retired Justice in the Florida Sun

Vol. 42 No. 9

By

Adrian Peguese, a 2L at University of South Carolina School of Law, is the 2013–2014 Law Student Division Liaison to theABA Forum on Communication Law.

A moot court competition, a Q & A with retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and the Miami sun? It all happened at the ABA Forum on Communication Law’s 19th annual conference in February.

The conference kicked off with the moot court competition and students gave spirited oral arguments. Yvette Butler and Sara Bell of George Washington University School of Law were the overall winners and they won the “Best Brief” award.

“Taking part in the moot court competition was an experience that I will never forget,” said Bell. “The chance to perform oral arguments in front of a distinguished panel of judges and the country’s prominent legal minds in this field, as well as to receive individualized feedback and critique, was invaluable as a law student. This competition challenged me to be a better writer and oral advocate, and I am very thankful for the experience.”

The coaches found a tremendous value in the experience as well.

“I was particularly impressed with the subject-matter expert mentors provided to each of my four students, as well as the practitioners, academics, and jurists that adjudicated the Competition,” said Joseph Tung, a coach from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law. “The Conference is a unique experience for attorneys and students alike interested in First Amendment, media, and communications law.”

Retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gave an insightful speech followed by a Q & A session. Justice Stevens made the crowd laugh and humored attendees with many stories about his years on the US Supreme Court. He discussed his and the current Supreme Court’s views of the First Amendment. Justice Stevens also answered a question about the media access inside the court and explained that he thought cameras in the court could have positive and negative impacts. Justice Stevens’s overall view about cameras in the court was that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” To join the Forum and view Justice Stevens’s speech, go to http://americanbar.org/groups/communications_law.html.

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