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ABA National Appellate Advocacy Team Defeats Five Law Schools to Advance to National Finals
(Left to right) Jason Duey, Dominique Young, Visiting Professor Joseph Richard Hurt, and Jenny Liabenow on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court overlooking the U.S. Capitol Building.

March 14, 2011

Orlando, Fla.
– The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law American Bar Association (ABA) National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) Team went undefeated in five rounds of regional competition to earn a spot in the national competition later this spring.  The team composed of second-year law students Jason Duey and Jenny Liabenow, and third-year law student Dominique Young as bailiff, was among 31 teams representing 20 ABA-approved law schools at the regional competition held in Washington, D.C.  The team was coached by Visiting Professor Joseph Richard Hurt.

“The outstanding performance of our students in this and other competitions is a direct reflection of the caliber of our faculty and how seriously we take our advocacy training,” said LeRoy Pernell, dean of the FAMU College of Law.

The NAAC is one of the largest and most prestigious competitions in the nation with 217 teams having entered NAAC competition this year.  Only 24 teams advanced from six regional competitions to the national competition.  Schools represented in the Washington, D.C. Regionals included Harvard University, Georgetown University, American University, The College of William & Mary, and Temple University.

FAMU defeated teams from Barry University, University of Richmond, and William & Mary in the first three rounds of competition to earn the number two seed in the semi-finals consisting of 16 teams.  In that round, FAMU defeated Campbell University to advance to the final round where the team defeated American.  Two teams from Liberty University and one from the Charleston School of Law also advanced to the national competition in Chicago, which will be held April 7-9, 2011.

In addition to the team’s 5-0 record, Liabenow was recognized as third best advocate and Duey as fourth best advocate out of 62 students who participated in the competition.

“Our win is a testament to the volunteer professors and students who helped us practice, the exemplary guidance of our coach, Professor Hurt, and a fantastic team,” said Duey.  “Without these factors, our success stood little chance of realization.”

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