Moot Court Duo Wins Great Lakes Regional Crown, Three Wooster Partnerships Headed to Nationals

Senior Dawson Honey and junior Brianna Schmidt won a regional championship

WOOSTER, Ohio – Dawson Honey and Brianna Schmidt won the oral advocacy competition at the American Moot Court Association-sanctioned Great Lakes Regional, headlining a string of strong results at regional tournaments for The College of Wooster throughout the fall semester as they are one of  three partnerships from the school’s moot court team headed to the AMCA National Tournament in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 12-13.

Brianna Schmidt and Dawson Honey, pictured here shortly after winning the 2018 Great Lakes Regional, are making a return trip to the American Moot Court National Tournament.

Honey, a senior, and Schmidt, a junior, were last year’s national champions in the AMCA’s brief writing category, and this year they’ll be joined at nationals by two sophomore tandems of Samuel Casey and Jackson Todd as well as Heather Hartmann and Stephanie Pokras.

Honey and Schmidt emerged atop a field of 46 teams at the Great Lakes Regional, including a win against a pairing from Youngstown State University in the finals. The regional championship is a repeat for Wooster (Jordan Griffith and Cameron Steckbeck won last year), and it marks the moot court team’s fifth win there in the tournament’s seven years of existence.

The Casey-Todd pairing also qualified for the national tourney at the Great Lakes Regional, which was held at Saginaw Valley State University, by virtue of reaching the quarterfinals. Notable, Honey and Casey finished seventh and 12th, respectively, in the individual orator category.

At the 30-team Midwest Regional, hosted at Wooster, sophomores Ghita Chiboub and Stephanie Pokras advanced to the octo finals as a team and individually placed sixth and eighth as orators, respectively, and at the 24-team Rubber City Regional, which took place at the University of Akron, sophomores Oria Daugherty and Heather Hartmann reached the quarterfinals, with Daugherty adding a seventh-place as an orator.

After having missed out on an automatic qualification for the national tournament by finishing narrowly outside of the top 18 percent of teams at the regional tournament, the Hartmann-Daugherty duo was extended an at-large bid to nationals. Such bids are awarded to the highest scoring regional teams that did not receive an automatic qualification. Daugherty, however, is studying abroad starting in January and thus will have to miss the competition, making room for Pokras to join Hartmann in Orlando.

“This year’s national representation brings a good mix of veteran leadership from Dawson and Brianna plus excitement about the potential of our two younger teams,” stated John Rudisill, professor of philosophy and chair of pre-law advising at Wooster. “I am confident each member will represent the College well on the national stage.”

One final note, this will be Honey’s fourth trip to the AMCA National Tournament, joining an elite group of Wooster students to have qualified all four years of their college eligibility, according to Rudisill.

According to the AMCA, moot court is a method of teaching law and legal skills that requires students to analyze and argue both sides of a hypothetical legal issue using procedures modeled after those employed in state and federal appellate courts.