Sixth Annual Legal Ethics and Professionalism (LEAP) Moot Court Competition


Mercer Advocacy Council is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Legal Ethics and Professionalism Moot Court Competition (LEAP Competition). The competition will be held from Thursday, Nov. 12 to Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, 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 on Saturday, November 14, will be Judge Louis Sands ('74), Senior United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia; 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 comprised of 19 teams from 13 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), Faulkner University (Mobile, Alabama), Florida Coastal (Jacksonville), Georgia State University, Indiana University (Bloomington), John Marshall University (Chicago and Atlanta), Savannah Law School, Stetson (Gulfport, Florida), Elon University (Greensboro, North Carolina), South Texas (Houston), the University of Florida, and the University of Georgia. 

The subject of the problem is an attorney whose bar license was revoked by the Mercer State Bar Disciplinary Committee because the attorney's tenacious trial strategies used during a high-profile murder case were found to be in violation of several ethical rules found in the state's Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The attorney was granted certiorari to the State Supreme Court where the Court will decide whether to affirm the lifetime suspension of the lawyer's bar license, or to reinstate her bar license and allow the lawyer to continue practicing law in the State of Mercer.

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.