"I was in court yesterday, and three days before, so I arrived here in my argument mode," said The Hon. Robert Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, and one of three distinguished jurists who sat on the bench for the final round of arguments at the 39th annual Morris B. Myerowitz Moot Court Competition. "In looking at the students who presented today, and comparing them to the lawyers who were in court for real this week, I can say without equivocation that you stack up well with those lawyers, many of whom are there all the time."
The top finishers made their way through four rounds of oral competition. Brian Robinson took the prize for top oral argument, with Aaron Gavant earning runner-up honors. Kerry Cooperman won the award for best brief. The arguments this year were based on a hypothetical Supreme Court case, deciding whether the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause prohibits a state from imposing the death penalty for the rape of a minor.
Judge Bell was joined on the Ceremonial Courtroom's bench by The Hon. John Bates ´76 of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and The Hon. Deborah Sweet Eyler ´80 of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Judge Eyler was the 1980 Myerowitz winner for best oral argument.
"Having been in your position 28 years ago, I still have never been as nervous as I was the day of the Myerowitz competition. Even trying cases and arguing in front of the Court of Appeals, I wouldn't get as nervous," she said. "I was impressed by how composed you were. I kept on thinking to myself, these students are more composed and articulate than a lot of lawyers we hear before the Court of Special Appeals."
One of the most highly anticipated events of the year, the competition was created by the family of Morris B. Myerowitz to honor their brother, son, and nephew.
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