Sarah Doran Murray and Erica Smith Win 2013 Bass Berry & Sims Moot Court Competition

Feb 6, 2013

Sarah Doran Murray, Erica Smith, Danielle Barav and Andrea SchronceSarah Doran Murray and Erica Smith are the winners of Vanderbilt’s 2013 Bass Berry & Sims Moot Court competition.

Murray and Smith competed against finalists Danielle Barav and Andrea Schronce in the competition’s final round, held in Vanderbilt’s Flynn Auditorium Friday, February 1.

Three distinguished circuit court judges—Judge Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Judge Gilbert S. Merritt Jr. ’60 of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Judge W. Duane Benton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit—presided over the final round, which was the culmination of a competition that began in late September and involved 80 teams of 160 second-year law students.

Competing teams wrote briefs for and then argued the case of Malone v. Merryweather, which posed the novel question of whether tattooing is granted First Amendment protection under the Free Speech clause. In the case, tattooist Norman Malone challenges on First Amendment grounds a city-wide ordinance that functionally bans tattooing.

As winners of the competition, Murray and Smith received the John A. Cortner Award, a cash prize endowed by the family of John Cortner, who served as Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board in 1984-85.

Michael Polovich received the 2013 award for Best Oralist award, and John Lomascolo and Mark Murray were honored with the 2013 award for Best Brief.


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