Briefing Room


Team declared national champ in Sutherland Cup

March 22, 2013 | Students

The Constitutional Law Team, composed of 3Ls Ariel Brough and Whitney Siehl and 2L Jim Saywell, was crowned national champion at the Sutherland Cup Moot Court Competition, held at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. March 15-16.

The team, coached by Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Monte Smith, eliminated teams from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Campbell University, and both Georgetown Law Center teams on their march to victory.

The Sutherland Cup Competition is the oldest national moot court competition in the U.S. It is an appellate advocacy competition focusing on constitutional law. Teams must submit a brief and deliver oral arguments before a panel of practicing attorneys.

This year’s problem involved a church-sponsored university’s firing of a professor of theology, who was also the head of a union bargaining unit. The professor claimed he was fired because of his union activities, while the university claimed he was fired because his teachings deviated from the doctrine of the church. The case questioned whether the National Labor Relations Act allows the NLRB to intervene in personnel matters that the university claims are central to its religious mission.