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March 27, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Two teams of SMU Dedman School of Law students won national championships in separate moot court competitions.

Cindy Hinojosa and Dave Schulte, both third-year law students, and Cristina Sanchez, a second-year law student, won first place at the Hispanic National Bar Association International Moot Court Competition March 14-16 in Chicago. The students were undefeated in six rounds of competition. The team also won best petitioner's brief, and Sanchez won for best oral competition. Dallas attorneys Aubrey "Nick" Pittman and Chris Barber with the Pittman Law Firm coached the students.

Melissa Bellan, Mickey Gerdes and Kendall Kelly, all second-year law students, won first place at the Federal Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition March 14-16 in Washington, D.C. Kelly also won for best oral competition. The students were coached by attorneys Rebecca Bell and Lance Caughfield with Fletcher & Springer, L.L.P.

In both competitions, the students competed against more than 40 teams. In moot court competitions, students practice appellate law practices. They are judged on oral advocacy and brief preparation. To win the national championships means the student teams advanced through several rounds of competition to take first place.