National Appellate Advocacy Competition Names Belmont Moot Court Undefeated Regional Champions

Moot Court Team
Regional Champion Team left to right: Josh Kleppin, Hannah Berny and John Nix

Last month, Belmont University’s Moot Team participated virtually in the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition at the regional level. The College of Law entered two teams into the competition that took place February 24-27.

The first team included Rebecca Gillette, Erik Halvorson and Kelly Walker, and the second team included Hannah Berny, Josh Kleppin and John Nix. Both teams performed admirably throughout the virtual competition despite Coach Amy Moore observing that the “virtual competition was more challenging than being in-person.”

The second team pulled through as the regional champions, moving through the competition undefeated and successfully beating more than 30 teams from schools across the country. This is the fifth year for Belmont’s College of Law to enter this competition and the fifth year for them to advance out of the regionals to the national competition. 

The teams were presented with their issue in November and wrote their appellate brief over Christmas break. Since January, the moot teams have been practicing for the oral argument. Nix shared, “Auditioning for and joining the moot court program at Belmont was one of the best decisions I made in law school. Indeed, the moot court has taught me how to analyze extremely complex and unsettled areas of the law.”

The regional champion moot court team will be moving onto the national competition in April by taking the information from the regional competition and starting to prepare for oral arguments through practice rounds, alumni rounds and structuring the arguments for success. 

“I am very proud of these students and how they have overcome the unique adversity of practicing and competing over zoom. They support one another and help each other grow as advocates,” shared Moore.