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Moot Court Team Places in Top 16 at National Tournament
Bentley advanced to the top 16 out of 80 teams competing in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament at Regent University Law School in Virginia in January. The winning team included Tim Donovan ’13 and Moussa Hassoun ’14 under the direction of Senior Lecturer in Law Franklyn P. Salimbene. Bentley was the only Eastern Regional Team to advance as far as the round of 16.
A second Bentley team — Gianni Crameri ’13 and Will Manning ’14 — also competed in the nationals, having placed first in the Eastern Regional Tournament in December.
Hassoun and Manning were also recognized for their debating prowess:
- Moussa Hassoun as the seventh best orator of the tournament out of the 160 competing students who competed
- Will Manning as among the top 25 orators
Moot Court simulates arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court where both team members act as advocates, and are given 20 minutes to argue their case, and each advocate must speak for a minimum of seven minutes. Teams are judged by actual attorneys and judges on their forensics, knowledge of the law, demeanor, and ability to answer questions from the bench.
This year’s tournament involved the case of a university that instituted an affirmative action plan to increase the number of males in the entering class. A female student, who received higher SAT and high school GPA scores, was denied acceptance while males with lower scores were admitted. The female sued the university claiming a violation of her rights under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Simultaneously, an on-campus all-female student group sought official recognition from the university. The university refused recognition because the group was not open to all students, barring membership to males. The group sued the university for violating its right to free speech and association under the First Amendment.
These two constitutional issues were the basis of argument in this year’s moot.
Photo (left to right): Bentley team members Tim Donovan, Gianni Crameri, Moussa Hassoun, Will Manning; and Professor Franklyn Salimbene
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.