The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will hear arguments in three cases and judge the annual George C. Baker Cup Moot Court competition on Tuesday, March 8, at the West Virginia University College of Law.

The justices will hear arguments beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom. They will judge the competition beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the same location. Both events are open to the public.

Finalists for the 2011 George C. Baker Cup competition are second year law students Wes Chancey and Courtney Richardson. They will argue in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which includes WVU College of Law graduates Chief Justice Robin J. Davis, Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Menis E. Ketchum II, and Justice Thomas E. McHugh. Justice Brent D. Benjamin has undergraduate and law degrees from Ohio State University. Due to a disqualification, Chief Judge Thomas C. Evans III and Judge Ronald E. Wilson will be sitting by temporary assignment for justices Ketchum and McHugh.

This year’s topic examines the distinction between discrimination based on gender and that based on sexual orientation. Set in a fictional circuit, Albert Robinson v. Arrow Construction Company revolves around a construction worker who undergoes extreme harassment and ridicule regarding his sexuality and masculinity. The justices will rule on the appellate advocacy skills of the two students. Since 1982, the competition has been open to all second-year students, who must write an appellate brief and present oral arguments on both sides of the issue.

In 1926, George Coleman Baker, a graduate of the class of 1886, presented a silver-plated loving cup to the College of Law. The purpose was to promote excellence in appellate advocacy. The cup was awarded each year to the club court winning the interclub competition. The club court teams eventually disbanded.

In 1968, then dean Paul Selby discovered the silver cup in the basement of the old law school and reinstated the competition. In 1980, the Baker Cup Endowment was created to provide cash prizes and commemorative plaques for winners.

A webcasts of the arguments before the court and the Baker Cup Competition can be viewed at http://law.wvu/.edu/wvsupreme2011.

This will be the Court’s twenty-first visit to the College of Law. The cases to be heard by the justices include a medical liability case, an appeal by a man who was declared a sexually violent predator, and an insurance dispute.


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CONTACT: Brian Caudill, College of Law