Seniors win national moot court competition

By Daniel Rothberg

Ben Dreier ’11 and Andrew Hartford ’11 won the Duke National Moot Court competition on Sunday, Feb. 27 in Durham, N.C. Dreier and Liza Wohlberg ’13 took second and eighth place for the individual speaker awards. 
Though the other team of Wohlberg and Micah Sperling ’12 did not qualify for the quarterfinals, they did participate in the all-star round, a round for the two teams with the highest composite speaker score that did not make it to the quarterfinals.
 
The 40 teams in the two-day competition argued different sides of a case involving the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Obama last March.
 
“You have to debate both sides and each round you are told which side you will be debating,” Dreier said. “Ironically, we won on the side that I personally don’t believe in.”
 
Sunday’s win marks the second championship title for a Harvard-Westlake team in this competition.
 
“Danielle Kolin ’08 and Melissa Saphier ’08 won in 2008 in a case involving the availability of the writ of habeas corpus for alien detainees at the Guantanamo Naval Base,” moot court coach and science teacher David Hinden said. “That case was resolved a year later by the U.S. Supreme Court as is expected to happen with the health care litigation currently wending its way through the federal courts.”
 
“We were just really excited and a little nervous to be going into the finals,” Dreier said.
 
Dreier said that his team had competed against its final round opponent earlier in the tournament.
 
“We thought they may have beaten us, they were a really tough team,” he said.