The annual USD School of Law’s Sam Masten Moot Court Tournament concluded on March 27th, 2017, with the final round held in the USD School of Law courtroom. Named after Samuel W. Masten (USD Law ’46) a beloved litigator in South Dakota, the tournament consisted of thirty-two participating first-year law students presenting oral arguments in a hypothetical case, where each student had researched and prepared an appellate brief. Each first-year student then presented their arguments before volunteer judges including the Moot Court Board, alumni of USD School of Law, attorneys, judges and faculty.
Jacquelyn Wilson of Lemmon, South Dakota, became this year’s Sam Masten champion, narrowly defeating Kate Vietor, from Lennox, South Dakota. The final round was argued in the Law School Courtroom before members of the South Dakota Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, and state circuit court Judges.
“The Sam Masten tournament allows the first-year students to take what they have learned in the Fundamental Legal Skills course and apply it in a real-world setting,” said Branden Nethken, President of the Moot Court Board. “There are very few law schools in the nation in which first-year students get to present oral arguments before practicing lawyers, judges, and justices.”
Best Brief Awards were also given to Hannah Purtell and Tracy Miller.
The Sioux Falls law firm of Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith hosted a reception, open to all students, faculty, staff and others who helped or participated, immediately following the final round.