First year Mercer law student Christiane Cochran won the Hugh Lawson Moot Court competition held on Law Day, March 16, 2012. The King & Spalding Cup and $500 are awarded to a first-year student who most effectively argues before a panel of distinguished judges. Coming in a close second place was 1L Megan Allen. The judges for the final round this year were Hugh Thompson, ’69, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia; Dwight Davis, ’82, Senior Partner at King & Spalding and Best Oralist in Mercer Law School’s 1980 1L Moot Court Competition; Douglas Kysar, Deputy Dean and Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law at Yale University, and Mercer Law School’s 2012 Law Day Guest Speaker; Jessica Feinberg, Assistant Professor at Mercer Law School; and Ashley Pruitt, Lawson Winner 2010, Lawson Competition Co-Editor 2012, and Mercer Law School Class of 2012.
Cochran, a native of Cartersville, Georgia, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and would one day like to open her own private practice. “All of the judges from the very beginning until the final round were superb, giving valuable feedback and challenging me to think harder every step of the way,” said Cochran.
The problem for the competition was written by 2012 Competition Co-Editor Michael McNeill, and was loosely based on the facts of the case Occupy Columbia v. Haley, 2011 WL 6318587 (D.S.C., 2011), as well as over a dozen other cases related to the 2011 “Occupy Wall Street” movement.