Students Yana Gagloeva, Liam Sidebottom Win National Championship in Moot Court

Monday, March 04, 2019
Photo of Liam Sidebottom and Yana Gagloeva holding their American Moot Court Association trophy
Liam Sidebottom (left) and Yana Gagloeva

Political Science majors Yana Gagloeva and Liam Sidebottom recently won a national championship from the American Moot Court Association. They won the first-ever national trophy for San Francisco State’s Moot Court team, which was founded in 2017.

Gagloeva and Sidebottom won the Brief Writing Championship at the American Moot Court Association’s National Championship Tournament, held January 12 – 13 at University of Central Florida and the Florida A&M University College of Law.

Their brief, filed on behalf of the respondent, garnered the highest score in the entire competition, among 73 entries from 20 schools.

In addition, a petitioner brief by SF State students Abigail Richards and Devon Montes placed eighth.

They wrote their briefs in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the imagined case of Sommerville v. Olympus State University. The official American Moot Court Association case for 2018 – 19, it involves a preferential admissions program that provides extra weight to male applicants in order to balance the university’s student body.

“Simply put, the ability to present persuasive arguments in writing is the lynchpin of what a lawyer actually does in real life,” says team adviser Nick Conway, an assistant professor of Political Science. “The fact that SFSU students have been trained on how to do so, and, that they excel at doing so on the national level, is something we can all be proud of here at SFSU.”

The American Moot Court Association is the largest intercollegiate moot court organization in the U.S. Nearly 450 college teams competed in its tournaments last year.

— Matt Itelson

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