Nation’s 16 best moot court programs vie for Andrews Kurth National Championship trophy

UHLC tournament and symposium will address international tax and trade issues in dealing with unstable political regions

Moot Court

Jan. 13, 2015 – Navigating the often complex waters of doing business within the constraints of international business and tax law is the focus of the 7th annual National Moot Court Championship Jan. 23-25 and a related symposium hosted by the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC).

The nation’s 16 best moot court programs will address the hypothetical question of whether the U.S. Internal Revenue Service properly denied tax credit for a U.S. oil company’s payment of taxes to a troubled foreign country.

As part of the three-day Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship activities, the teams are invited to participate in a symposium titled “International Business and Tax Law Issues in Politically Unstable Regions … Buckle Up.” The symposium will address a variety of legal aspects involved in international business with a focus on tax law.

“Blakely Advocacy Institute and Andrews Kurth are excited to continue their longstanding partnership in the Advocating for Advocacy Program,” said Jim Lawrence, director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute. “One primary focus of the partnership is the support it provides for the Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship. The support has enabled the competition to become one of the most prestigious moot court tournaments in the country.”

The symposium will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jan. 22 at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel. Symposium speakers include James M. Roach, general tax counsel for ExxonMobil Chemical Company; Walter White, international tax partner in the Houston office of Grant Thornton and the firm’s Central Region international trade leader; and Rebecca Rosenberg, a principal in the Washington national tax services practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she focuses on international tax and tax law issues. UHLC Professor Bret Wells, who teaches tax and oil and gas law, will serve as moderator of the symposium.

The symposium is approved for four hours of CLE credit and four hours of CPE credit.

Moot court programs qualified for the national championship based on points accumulated during the previous year at competitions throughout the country. This year’s field comprises teams from Chicago Kent College of Law, Emory University School of Law, Faulkner University School of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, South Texas College of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, University of Georgia School of Law, University of Houston Law Center, University of Miami School of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Guest judges for this year’s final round will be Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Jennifer Elrod, James Graves, and Thomas Reavley; Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown; and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister, now a partner with Andrews Kurth.

In addition to Andrews Kurth LLP, the moot court tournament and symposium is co-sponsored by ExxonMobil; Edison, McDowell & Hetherington LLP; Locke Lord LLP; PwC; Lighthouse Data Solutions; the University of Houston Law Center; the Blakely Advocacy Institute; and the University of Houston Law Alumni Association.

Media contacts:  Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; or Stephen Jablonski, UH Law Center Media Specialist, 713-743-1634,

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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