Second-year LSU Law students Luke Dupré and Tyler Frederick were crowned champions of the 2021 Tullis Moot Court Competition on Monday, Nov. 8, after besting fellow second-year students Colin North and Blake Vick during the competition finals.
The final round of the competition was held in the Robinson Courtroom at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, and it was also live streamed. The distinguished panel of judges who presided over the finals included Shelton Dennis Blunt, a Partner at Phelps Dunbar LLP; Thomas C. Galligan, Jr., LSU President Emeritus and LSU Law Professor; Hon. Scott Johnson, United States Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana; and Christopher K. Jones (’02), a Partner at Keogh Cox & Wilson LLP and President of the Baton Rouge Bar Association.
Named in honor of the late Dean Emeritus of LSU Law, the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition has been a tradition of honor since 1936. Teams of second-year law students write an appellate brief in a hypothetical United States Supreme Court case and then argue the case to panels of attorneys and judges in an oral advocacy tournament. The tournament consists of two preliminary rounds, with the top 16 teams advancing to the elimination rounds. Those teams then compete in a one-loss elimination bracket until a champion is determined.
In the final round of this year’s competition, North and Vick represented the petitioner, Whale Quick Clinic, a walk-in medical clinic that conducted a blood test for the respondent, Mary Margaret Blanchard, an elementary school teacher who was required to get testing for “CURSED-19” by her employer. Represented by Dupré and Frederick, Blanchard claimed that Whale Quick Clinic improperly sent her an unsolicited text message containing her test results; this text message was seen by a fellow teacher, which led to Blanchard losing her job. Blanchard then sued Whale Quick Clinic.
The judges heard oral arguments on two issues: Whether a consumer must suffer actual concrete damages for that consumer to have standing to sue under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act; and whether an unsolicited text message disclosing blood test results would be highly offensive to a reasonable person as defined by § 652B of the Second Restatement of Torts.