By Emily Peisker, HPU senior
BROWNWOOD – February 22, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Isaac Sommers, junior from Boerne, and Rebeca Puente, senior from Waskom, students in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, advanced to out rounds and ended in the top 32 at the 2015-16 American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament. The duo placed third in the brief writing component of the ACMCA National Tournament held at California State University in Long Beach.
The ACMCA National Tournament hosted 80 teams from across the nation, representing the top 25 percent of all competing teams. The teams compete in 10 different regional tournaments around the nation to qualify for the national competition. Sommers and Puente placed first in the South Texas Regional ACMCA Tournament at Texas A&M University School of Law in November to qualify for the national competition. The pair also won top orator awards at the tournament.
Moot Court is a simulated oral argument, similar to an argument made before an appellate court. The argument lasts around 15 minutes, during which time the attorney presents an argument and answers questions posed by the panel of judges. The arguments are evaluated on the application of the law to the facts of the case.
Sommers and Puente completed a successful Moot Court season, including their unanimous win at the UNT Law Invitational Tournament held at the University of North Texas Dallas Law School in October. Sommers also received the fourth-place oralist award at that competition.
Lorianna Kelley, coach for the Moot Court team and assistant professor of government at HPU, serves as a member of the ACMCA board of directors. She praised her team for the success they have had during the last year.
“Isaac and Rebeca demonstrated that they were one of the best Moot Court teams in the nation, finishing in the top 32 of almost 400 teams,” said Kelley. “Their oral advocacy and brief-writing skills won them high praise at the tournament.”
Photo cutline: Howard Payne University’s Isaac Sommers (second from left) and Rebeca Puente (third from left) placed third in the brief writing component of the ACMCA National Tournament. They are pictured with competition judges.