MACON — A team from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law won the Buffalo Criminal Law Society’s 13th Annual Herbert Wechsler Moot Court Competition, held April 2 at the Buffalo City Court courthouse in downtown Buffalo, N.Y.
The Mercer team of second-year students Matt Shoemaker and Dodson Strawbridge was coached by third-year student Tyler Oldenburg, Michael Mattox, director of development for the law school, and Professor Tim Floyd. Mercer competed against teams from 23 other law schools, including American University, Valparaiso, Hofstra, New York University, University of Michigan, University of Richmond, William & Mary, and Rutgers. The Mercer team defeated Appalachian Law School in the finals.
Mercer's triumphant moot court team, from left to right: Mike Mattox (Co-Coach), Matt Shoemaker (Class of 2012), Dodson Shoemaker (Class of 2012), Tyler Oldenburg (Student Coach, Class of 2011).
The Wechsler Moot Court Competition, named after the drafter of the Model Penal Code, is the only national moot court competition in the United States to focus on topics in substantive criminal law. This year’s problem was based upon a case that is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.
“I was delighted, though not surprised, to learn of our team’s first place finish. Our students compete in a wide array of competitions elsewhere, and having judged various practice rounds, I know first-hand how unusually skilled and well-prepared they virtually always are,” said Gary Simson, dean and Macon Chair of Law. ”As employers across Georgia and elsewhere have come to recognize, our students acquire an excellent grounding not only in the knowledge needed to be an outstanding lawyer but in the essential skills as well.”
“The Mercer team displayed great poise under pressure,” Mattox said. “The questioning was tough and persistent but Matt and Dodson were able to answer with confidence and return to their main argument. They demonstrated excellent command of the facts and the relevant case law. We can all be proud of this team and how well they represented Mercer Law.”
About the Mercer Law School
Founded in 1873, the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and the first one in the state of Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association. Mercer Law School’s educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Its innovative Woodruff Curriculum – which focuses on ethics and practical skills amid small class sizes – earned the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the ABA for its “depth of excellence.” With an enrollment of about 440 students, taught by some of the sharpest legal minds in the country, Mercer Law School has been listed among the nation’s top law schools and is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, public interest, and professionalism and ethics. For more information about Mercer Law School, visit www.law.mercer.edu.