Mercer Law School Hosts Annual Closing Argument Competition


MACON – Mercer Law hosted its annual first-year Closing Argument Competition on Friday, March 15. The competition began with 56 first-year students and concluded with Davis Lackey coming in first place and Victoria Nease placing second and reaching the final round.

The Hon. Howard Simms of the Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court served as presiding judge and Neil Halvorson, adjunct professor and assistant district attorney for the Macon Judicial Circuit, served as moderator.

The Closing Argument Competition is an intraschool competition exclusively for first-year students. Beginning this year, the competition also serves as the students’ opportunity to try out for Mercer’s nationally-recognized mock trial teams.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to have this opportunity. It’s been a challenging week, but the judges and all the contestants have made this an invaluable experience,” said Lackey, from Lawrenceville, who holds a communications degree from the University of Georgia.

“I wanted to do this to step outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I wanted to give it my best shot,” said Nease, who attended Armstrong State University and received her B.S. in psychology. “It has been unbelievably rewarding. I have learned so much, not just about advocacy, but also about myself. I am grateful to Mercer Law School and Mercer Advocacy Council for this opportunity.”

Additionally, the following 11 individuals served as jurors for the competition:

  • Christy Childers, Partner, Childers & McCain, LLC
  • David Cooke, District Attorney, Macon Judicial Circuit
  • Jim Fleissner, Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law
  • Virginia Josey, Attorney, Noland Law Firm, LLC
  • Scott Key, Partner, Miller & Key, P.A.
  • Michael Mayo, Partner, Mayo-Hill
  • Kristen Quinton, Supervising Attorney, Macon Judicial Circuit Public Defender
  • Megan Tuttle, Assistant Public Defender, Macon Judicial Circuit
  • Lauren Wilmer, Staff Attorney, Professional Association of Georgia Educators
  • Rick Waller, Chief Public Defender, Macon Judicial Circuit
  • Ché Young, Assistant District Attorney, Macon Judicial Circuit

The competition was sponsored by Childers & McCain LLC and Reynolds, Horne & Survant.