Fifth Annual Legal Ethics and Professionalism Moot Court Competition


 Mercer Advocacy Council is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Legal Ethics and Professionalism Moot Court Competition. The competition will be held on Nov. 20-22, 2014, at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia. 

After preliminary rounds, there will be three out-rounds consisting of a quarterfinal, semifinal, and final round for the teams clearing preliminaries. Judges for the final round, which takes place at 4:30 on Saturday, Nov. 22, will be Chief Justice Hugh Thompson (LAW '69) of the Supreme Court of Georgia; The Honorable Stephen Dillard, The Honorable Christopher McFadden, both of the Georgia Court of Appeals; Paula Frederick, General Counsel for the State Bar of Georgia; and Patrick Longan, William Augustus Bootle Chair in Professionalism and Ethics at Mercer Law. 

The competition, which is intended to develop oral advocacy skills, is compromised of 16 teams from 12 law schools from around the nation. Mercer Law School will not compete because it is hosting the event. Among the participating law schools are Baylor University (Waco, Texas), Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.), Faulkner University (Mobile, Ala.), Florida Coastal (Jacksonville), Georgia State University, Indiana University (Bloomington), John Marshall University, Savannah Law School, Stetson (Gulfport, Fla.), Texas Tech University (Lubbock), and University of Georgia. 

The subject of the problem being addressed in the competition focuses on whether attorneys should be required to conduct Internet searches of prospective jurors during the voir dire process or whether social media notifications resulting from such searches constitute ex parte communications. 

The competition builds upon Mercer's national leadership in legal ethics and professionalism. Mercer students take six required hours of ethics and professionalism, including a first-year course in which students explore the many aspects of being an ethical lawyer. Students further benefit from an experiential learning program that emphasizes the development of an ethical professional identity, a broad array of advanced ethics electives, and a comprehensive approach to ethics within the Woodruff Curriculum. Additionally, Mercer's Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism engages in a variety of in-house and outreach educational activities designed to improve the professionalism of students, lawyers, and judges.