School of Law holds Coronavirus Cancellations Moot Court Competition

April 16, 2020 , by Cheryl Anderson

When the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of two of the national moot court competitions in which Moot Court Board students were participating, students and faculty improvised and put together the first (and hopefully only) virtual Coronavirus Cancellations Moot Court Competition. 

Teams of students argued to two different panels of judges using Zoom. Those Zoom events were live streamed to Youtube for first year students, prospective students, and family members of the advocates to observe. 

Moot Court Board members hosted a chat on Youtube during each round in which they provided commentary on how to present effective oral arguments and answer questions.

The judges included:

  • Senior Judge J. Phil Gilbert and Judge (retired) United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois; 
  • Judge David Herndon, United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois; 
  • Timothy Geiger, Capital Case Staff Attorney at the Arizona Death Penalty Judicial Assistance Program and; 
  • Sarah Taylor, Associate Attorney, Barrett, Twomey, Broom, Hughes & Hoke, LLP, Carbondale, IL. 

Based on the judges’ scores, the Gibbons Criminal Procedure team of Joshua Colonnese, Chase Rich and Antonella Santi was named Best Team and Antonella Santi was named Best Oralist.

This type of virtual argument may become more common even after pandemic restrictions are lifted, and the advocates and judges all handled the new technology with great aplomb.

Check out the first round of the competition here