Press Release

16 OWU Students Compete in 2016-2017 Moot Court Tournament

February 2, 2017 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan students Caroline Hamilton (left) and Madeleine Juszynski were among 16 OWU students participating in the 2016-2017 moot court tournament season. The two earned a chance to compete in the national contest held recently in Florida. 

Caroline Hamilton and Madeleine Juszynski Advance to National Contest

DELAWARE, Ohio – Eight teams of Ohio Wesleyan University students participated in regional contests and two students competed nationally as part of the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s 2016-2017 tournament.

“This is the sixth consecutive year that OWU teams have qualified for the national tournament,” said politics and government professor and pre-law advisor Michael Esler, Ph.D., who coaches OWU’s moot court teams.

The team of Caroline Hamilton and Madeleine Juszynski competed in the national championships recently in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The two students “were consistent and solid throughout the tournament,” Esler said, even though they did not advance to the elimination rounds. “All aspects of their arguments were strong, from knowledge of the law and case facts, ability to answer questions, and courtroom demeanor,” he said. “They consistently earned high scores across the categories.”

To earn their spot in the national championships, Hamilton, a senior from University Heights, Ohio, and Juszynski, a junior from Atlanta, Georgia, first competed in November in the Midwest Regional in Wooster, Ohio. They finished fifth in the contest, earning a national bid.

“These were two seasoned veterans who required little guidance,” Esler said. “They were prepared and confident, which showed in their consistently strong performance.”

Ohio Wesleyan’s eight teams (16 students) competed in either the Midwest Regional or the Great Lakes Regional, held in December in Saginaw, Michigan.

In addition to Hamilton and Juszynski, the two-person teams of Jessica Choate of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Allison DeLooze of Chesterland, Ohio; Samantha Johnson of Clay, West Virginia, and Christopher Dobeck of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; and Larisa Keating of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and William Clyne of Norwalk, Connecticut, competed in the Midwest Regional.

The Choate-DeLooze team also performed at a high level, Esler said. “They earned the two highest individual scores, respectively, of all OWU team members who competed in the Midwest. They barely missed advancing as a team in the regional. They put in a lot of time, were well-prepared and strong performers.”

The Dobeck-Johnson and Keating-Clyne teams both were competing for the first time in one of the strongest regionals in the country, Esler said. “They held their own and racked up some nice scores,” he said.

OWU student-teams competing in the Great Lakes Regional were Kacy Gurewitz of Livermore, California, and Daniel Haygood of Quincy, California; Isabella Moore of Atlanta, Georgia, and Mariah Hicks of Grove City, Ohio; Sophia Burt of Powell, Ohio, and Michael Crum of Granville, Ohio; and Chloe Dyer of Guysville, Ohio, and Forest Dearing of Louisville, Kentucky.

The Gurewitz-Haygood team finished ninth in the tournament and missed a bid to the nationals by one place, Esler said. “This was their first year competing,” he said. “They came on strong at the end of the season and went deep into the tournament. It was exciting.”

The Moore-Hicks and Burt-Crum teams also advanced in the tournament, Esler said. “Moore and Crum were veterans and led the way,” Esler said, “but Hicks and Burt held their own considering that they were first years.”

Dearing and Dyer, respectively, scored the two highest individual scores of all OWU team members this year. Despite this achievement, however, they were not selected to advance. “It was surprising because they qualified for the nationals last year and were one of our strongest teams this year, which was evident in their individual scores,” Esler said. “Unfortunately, they drew superior teams in the early rounds, all of which advanced to the national tournament.”

Overall, Esler said, he is proud of the students’ accomplishments this year. “This was a strong group of students who helped each other out throughout the semester and the competitive season,” he said. “DeLooze, Moore, Choate, and Dyer played an especially strong leadership role.”

Kayla Adolph of Toledo, Ohio, and Mandela Suruma of Rockville, Maryland, also were members of the team. They did not compete, but “did the work and offered timely advice to the competitors,” Esler said.

Each year, the American Collegiate Moot Court Association Tournament holds regional competitions throughout the U.S. and Canada. This year more than 350 teams competed. Students play the role of attorneys who argue a case before panels of lawyers and judges. This year’s case involved whether a state law that imposed strict voting regulations violated freedom of speech and/or constituted discrimination.

To learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s moot court program, contact Esler at, or visit to learn more about the university’s pre-law major.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at