February 11, 2010 5:41 AM
New Wave staff
Carnival isn't just about parades and festivities. For Tulane Law School, it's also time for the Mardi Gras Invitational Competition. Teams from 40 colleges and universities are in New Orleans for the appellate advocacy competition.
The moot court competition sponsored by Tulane is in its 15th year and "our biggest ever," says Nathan Prihoda, third-year Tulane law student and chief justice of the student-run Moot Court Board.
Through simulations of actual courtroom situations, moot court empowers students with the opportunity to learn by doing persuasive appellate presentations. The Tulane appellate competition previously dealt with problems such as complex intellectual property and licensing issues and federal preemption of state laws, but it is now focused on sports law.
Prihoda says the Tulane event "is the nation's preeminent sports law appellate advocacy competition. Teams travel from all over the country to New Orleans to argue a problem ripped from the headlines of modern sports law news."
Teams from New England to the Pacific coast and from the Deep South to the Midwest began competing on Wednesday (Feb. 10) and continue today (Feb. 11) in several rounds at the Eastern District Courthouse in downtown New Orleans.
The semifinals and finals will take place on Friday (Feb. 12) at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the central business district.
This year, judging the competition will be Tulane alumnus Joe Ettinger; Richard House, general counsel for the New Orleans Hornets; Andrew Brandt, former vice president of the Green Bay Packers and founder of the National Football Post newsletter and website; Judge John Grout of the Louisiana Department of Labor; and Tulane law faculty members Gabe Feldman and Herb Larson.
The competitors also take time to enjoy events in the Crescent City, including a Mardi Gras party and champion's luncheon.
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