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30th Annual VI Moot Court Competition and 2nd Annual Scholarship Art Auction Fundraiser

Court Gavel (file photo)

The Virgin Islands Bar Association’s Moot Court Planning Committee is pleased to announce the 30th annual Virgin Islands Moot Court Competition. In 1994, the Hon. Verne A. Hodge, Presiding Judge of what was then the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands, and the Hon. Soraya Diase-Coffelt, a judge of the Territorial Court, established this moot court competition for the students of the territory.

This year’s competition began on Feb. 5, with the release of the fact pattern and law library.

There are 10 schools participating territory-wide. Three schools on St. Croix (St. Croix Central High School, St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School and Good Hope Country Day School) and seven schools on St. Thomas (Charlotte Amalie High School, Ivana Eudora Kean high School, All Saints Cathedral School, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School, St. Thomas-St. John Seventh-day Adventist School, Antilles School, and Virgin Islands Montessori School and Peter Gruber International Academy) are participating this year.

There have been 32 squads entered by the 10 schools, which means that 64 students will present arguments in the competition.

Due to the number of participants, a new District Qualifying Round has been added to the competition, which will be held on Tuesday, April 9. This round of the competition will be hosted online by St. Mary’s Law School. The top 10 squads in each district will advance from the District Qualifying Round to the Tuesday, April 16, District Rounds.

On April 16, beginning at 9 a.m., the competition rounds will begin in their respective districts. On St. Croix, the competition will be held at the District Court in Golden Rock. On St. Thomas, the competition will be held in Crown Bay at the Supreme Court. The top five squads in each district will advance from this round to the championship.

In each district, students will be awarded as follows:

Individual Awards: Best Oralist, 1st Runner up, 2d Runner up. 3d Runner up. These students will receive the following scholarships: Best Oralist- $500; First Runner Up- $400; Second Runner Up- $350; Third Runner Up- $250

Teams Awards: Champion, 2d, 3d. Scholarships are awarded to each squad, as follows: Champions- $500 (split evenly); Second Place- $350 (split evenly); Third Place- $150 (split evenly).

The top five squads from each district will advance to compete in the championship on Thursday, April 18. This round is held online via the Virgin Islands Judiciary’s live-streaming platform (https://www.vicourts.org/media — select “Live Stream”). In the championship, students compete for the following awards and scholarships:

Individually: Best Oralist: $1,250; 1st Runner Up: $925; 2nd Runner Up: $750; 3d Runner Up: $250; 4th Runner Up $100; 5th Runner Up: $100.

Then to the teams to be divided among the members including any alternate (the smaller amount is 1/3 assuming an alternate), are awarded as follows: 1st Place: $1500; 2d Place: $1050; 3d Place: $900; 4th Place: $675.

Through hosting such a competition, the Virgin Islands Bar Association seeks to increase community understanding of the judicial process and governmental operation, increase citizens’ awareness of the roles of a lawyer and a judge, promote the community’s awareness of current issues in the law, promote the study of the law, provide the opportunity to develop and advance public speaking and advocacy skills, improve community perceptions of the legal profession and lawyers, and provide financial education assistance to the students of the territory.

Additionally, the second annual Virgin Islands Moot Court Competition Art Auction scholarship fundraiser is underway. Mango Tango Art Gallery has again provided a very substantial donation of art to auction the pieces off to raise scholarship funds. The auction link is on the gallery’s auction webpage:

https://www.mangotangoart.com/vi-bar-association-moot-court-art-auction-2024/

Moot Court awards $17,500 in scholarships to the high school students of the territory each year. This auction helps provide those scholarships

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