Jansen VanderMeulen '19
In the semifinal of the 2018 Lile Moot Court competition, two teams of 2Ls advanced to the final round, to be held in the fall. Kendall Burchard and Scott Harmon, arguing for the appellant Matthew Christman, prevailed over Brian Miller and Sarah Crandall, who argued for the fictional appellee, the County of Mennaker. In the other bracket, Katharine Collins and Chris Macomber, arguing for the appellee, defeated David Goldman and Amanda Lineberry, who argued on behalf of Mr. Christman.
All four teams of competitors argued in front of a panel composed of three federal judges: Judge Carol Bagley Amon ’71 of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York; Chief Judge Michael F. Urbanski ’81 of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia; and Judge Paula Xinis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, a 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia. By all accounts, the judges maintained a "hot bench," peppering the litigants with heated questions throughout the argument.
This year’s semifinal problem centered around a fictional man, Matthew Christman, fired from his job with Mennaker County. Christman alleges he was fired because he identifies as a gay man, which he claims falls under Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex. He further claims that the overtly Christian prayers with which the Mennaker County Board of Commissioners typically begins its meetings violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
2L Jenny Lamberth witnessed the arguments between both sets of teams. "I was really impressed with all the arguments," Lamberth said. "The judges were tough, but the litigants were well prepared and did a really good job holding their own,"
Burchard and Harmon will face off against Collins and Macomber this fall in front of another panel of distinguished jurists. The finalists will argue a new problem, to be written by members of the Lile Moot Court Board. Rumor has it the Law School is seeking a Justice of the United States Supreme Court to preside over the final round, which would help to explain this year's competition's accelerated timeframe. The Virginia Law Weekly wishes the remaining participants the best of luck in earning a place of fame on the Slaughter plaque wall.
 And not the fun sort, like the one located Page 5 of this paper.
 As my great aunt always used to say, "It's not vanity if your name's gonna be next to Ted Kennedy's."