Widener Law students Robert Bailey, Jack Spangler, and John “Jack” Sweeney recently participated in the Tulane University Law School Mardi Gras Invitational Sports Law Competition, advancing to the semifinals of the appellate advocacy competition which featured 40 teams from law schools all across the country. The competition took place from February 10th through 12th in New Orleans.
The competition case drew on an actual case that involved drug testing in the National Football League, although the competition problem used Major League Baseball instead.
Associate Professor Stephen E. Henderson
served as the team’s coach. “I’m extremely proud of all three students,” said Henderson, adding, “Being able to coach and spend time with students like these is just tremendously rewarding.”
“This was a team effort from beginning to end and I feel honored to have been a part of it,” said 2nd-year student Jack Spangler, adding, “I especially want to thank Professor Henderson. Without his efforts our success would not have been possible. He was there for us at every turn. The three of us became far better advocates because of his hard work." Spangler also finished as the runner-up for the competition’s best advocate award.
3rd-year student Robert Bailey emphasized all of the work that went into preparing for the competition; “Although it culminated in New Orleans, this competition started for us over Christmas break when we drafted the brief. After we submitted our brief we met twice a week, every week to practice our oral arguments. Honestly, we would have not been nearly as successful as we were if we did not have Professor Henderson as our coach. He was committed to our team throughout the entire process. His wisdom, experience, and dedication helped mold our arguments.”
“I left the competition with a new sense of confidence and purpose,” added 3rd-year student John Sweeney. “The experience was invaluable. We're going to win this thing next year if I have my way. I cannot finish my statement without giving a very heart felt thank you to Professor Steven Henderson. His help, input, and critique made our team what it was. He held practice with us no less than twice a week and was constantly available if we needed to get in touch with him outside of practice.”