North Dakota Law

Updates from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

Solberg and Belliston win 2022 Internal Moot Court Competition

The final argument of the competition took place on Tuesday, November 15 at the UND Gorecki Alumni Center with second-year law students, Erica Solberg and Sarah Belliston representing the respondent and fellow second-year law students, Grant Ellenson and Theodore Ramage, representing the petitioner.

Solberg and Belliston were named champions of the 2022 Internal Moot Court Competition after an extremely close final round of competition. The School of Law was honored to have Justice Daniel Crothers, Justice Lisa Fair McEvers, and Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal judge the final round of the annual competition.

Each student had 15 minutes to present their argument to the Justices. The problem centered around the Fourth Amendment and whether or not it permits law enforcement officers to conduct a protective sweep of a home without warrant when the sweep is not incident to a lawful arrest.

The three-day competition, a longstanding tradition at UND School of Law, provides an opportunity for second and third-year students to gain experience in both legal writing and oral advocacy as well as working with a partner. The students began preparing a month before the competition by attending two class sessions with Moot Court Faculty Advisor, Professor Ariana Meyers. The first session focused on writing a brief and the second offered practice in oral advocacy.

Each team competed in two Preliminary rounds followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals. All the judges were practicing attorneys and the majority were UND School of Law alumni.

The culmination of the competition is the final round. This year’s final was judged by Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal and North Dakota Supreme Court Justices, Daniel Crothers and Lisa Fair McEvers. The judges prepare for the competition in the same way they would for a real case and are known for asking difficult questions. At the completion of the competition and prior to announcing the winners, the justices gave feedback by critiquing each student’s argument. They provided positive comments and constructive criticism that helped the finalists moving forward as well as all students watching and listening in the audience.

2022 Award Winners

Best Petitioner Brief – Team 7, Sapir Sela and Kirsten Allen
Best Respondent Brief – Team 5, Sarah Belliston and Erica Solberg
Best Petitioner Oralist based on preliminary rounds – Theodore Ramage
Best Respondent Oralist based on preliminary rounds – Erica Solberg
Best Final Round Oralist – Erica Solberg
UND Moot Court Board 2022-2023
Muriel Rott, President
Haley Finch, Treasurer
Brittney Lewis, Internal Director
Charles Steinberger, Internal Director
Idalis Figueroa, Externals Director
Tanner Langley, Externals Director
Professor Kirsten Dauphinais, Faculty Advisor
Professor Ariana Meyers, Faculty Advisor