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Charleston Law students win fifth straight national moot court title

Release Date: 2/21/2016

         Three Charleston School of Law students hold championship awards won in the school's 
         fifth straight national moot court tax championship won over the weekend. From left are 
         students  Joe Schillizzi, Tyler Gilliam and Anna Boning. Others in the photo are Judge Guy
         (left) and Judge Dean (right)
 who presented the awards.

FEB. 21, 2016 -- For the fifth year in a row, a team from the Charleston School of Law won the National Tax Moot Court championship, which was held this year in St. Petersburg, Fla.

 “This surely must be one of the most remarkable accomplishments in the annals of legal education,” Dean Andy Abrams said.  “For an institution like the Charleston School of Law, which prides itself on its hands on legal education and close working relationship between our faculty and our students, this is particularly gratifying.”

The unprecedented 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. (University of Mary Washington '14), and Tyler Gilliam of Raleigh, N.C. (College of Charleston '12), marched through the three-day tournament without a loss.  On Saturday in the final round, they argued in front of three U.S. Tax Court judges to defeat a nationally-ranked team from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  Leading the students were student coach Joe Schillizzi of Greenville, S.C. (Clemson '10), and Professor Kristin Gutting, who has now coached five consecutive national championship teams. 

In the two months leading to the competition, Gutting organized daily practice rounds that were judged by members of the Charleston Tax Bar.

“We could not have done this without the local Bar volunteering its time -- especially law school alumna Barbara Holmes, who works with the Lowcountry Land Trust and who spent many lunches getting us up to speed on the law regarding conservation easements,” Gutting said. 

In addition to being on the winning team, Boning took home the competition award for Best Individual Oralist for having the best oral argument.  Gilliam ran a close second.

“We owe much of our success to the support we received from the Charleston School of Law community,” Boning said.  “It was truly a team effort.”

About the Charleston School of Law

The Charleston School of Law offers students the unique opportunity to study the time-honored practice of law amid the beauty and grace of one of the South's most historic cities, Charleston, South Carolina. Students at the Charleston School of Law study law as a profession and find a faculty focused on using the law as a calling in the public interest.  Faculty members devote their full attention to excellent teaching and scholarship, both in and out of the classroom.  Where traditions meet opportunity -- that is Charleston and the Charleston School of Law.