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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Michael Krouse ’08 and Enrique Schaerer ’08 Win Top Prize in Moot Court Finals

The finals of the Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals at Yale Law School were held Monday afternoon, December 10, in the Law School auditorium. The Potter Stewart Prize for best overall written and oral argument went to Michael Krouse ’08 and Enrique Schaerer ’08, who successfully presented their argument for Petitioner Jose Ernesto Medellin in the case of Medellin v. Texas; Krouse was awarded the Harlan Fiske Stone Prize for best oralist. Zac Hudson ’09 and Gabriel Rauterberg ’09 argued for the Respondent, the state of Texas. 

“This was one of the most thoughtful and challenging panels I've seen,” said Moot Court Co-Chairperson Bryan Caforio ’08.  "The judges asked hard questions, but each of the students was well prepared and able to stand firm with his argument. It was a great round to watch.” 

Medellin v. Texas, a real case argued before the Supreme Court this term, considered whether the President has the constitutional authority to direct state courts to abide by decisions of the International Court of Justice and whether ICJ decisions in cases to which the United States is a party are binding as federal law.

U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Michael McConnell (10th Cir.), Reena Raggi (2d Cir.), and Jerry Edwin Smith (5th Cir.) judged the competition. They listened to 15-minute presentations from each of the advocates, asking tough and informed questions, then took a brief recess to deliberate.

Before awarding the prizes, Judge Smith said, “The attorneys who appear before me in the Fifth Circuit could improve significantly by watching this round and seeing the quality of these arguments.”

The Morris Tyler Moot Court competition takes place each semester at Yale Law School, culminating in the Harlan Fiske Stone Prize Finals in the fall and the Thurman Arnold Prize Finals in the spring. All second- and third-year law students are eligible to participate.