Charleston School of Law wins National Tax Moot Court championship

For an unprecedented sixth year in a row, a student team from the Charleston School of Law has won the National Tax Moot Court championship, which was held this year in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“For law schools taking part in moot court competitions, this is like winning the Super Bowl six times in a row,” President Ed Bell said.  “Not only did our student competitors take the title for the second time in a row, but the school under the outstanding leadership of Professor Kristin Gutting won for the sixth time in a row.  It’s an amazing accomplishment and testament to the quality of our school.  Truly amazing.”

The Saturday victory pitted teams of students from different law schools around the country to argue a legal tax issue in a simulated court proceeding before a panel of judges organized by the Florida Bar Tax Section.

Team members Anna Boning of Manassas, Va., and Tyler Gilliam of Raleigh, N.C., marched through the three-day tournament without a loss.  The beat teams from law schools at Loyola University in Chicago, the University of Kentucky, University of Oregon and Louisiana State University.  On Saturday in the final round, they argued in front of sitting U.S. Tax Court judges to defeat a team from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. Leading the students were student coach Jane Diange of Tampa, Fla., and Gutting, who has now coached six consecutive national championship teams.

In the month leading to the competition, Gutting organized daily practice rounds that were judged by members of the Charleston tax Bar. She said the school’s success was thanks to a team effort.

“The students learned a valuable lesson – that there is no substitute for preparation,” said Gutting.  “I’d also like to thank the local Bar for volunteering to judge practice rounds.  We could not continue to be so successful without the support of our local Bar.”

In addition to being on the winning team, Boning and Gilliam took home the prize for Best Brief.   Both are third-year law students.  After graduation, they plan to work and pursue master’s degrees in tax law.

“Like anything worthwhile it’s not about the result; it’s about the process,” Gilliam said.  “Working with Professor Gutting, Anna and Jane was an invaluable experience and one that I'll cherish.”