November 1, 2009
Two student teams from GSU Law competed in the 2009 National Health Law Moot Court competition hosted by Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, Illinois. One team was sponsored by the Student Health Law Association (SHLA), and the other team was sponsored by the law school’s Moot Court program. The competition included 28 teams from 23 universities.
Teams argues a hypothetical case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving a hospital’s attempt to "repatriate" an injured, undocumented patient to her home country, over objections of her guardian, due to the hospital’s financial concern. EMTALA, also known as the Patient Anti-Dumping Act, is a federal law requiring hospitals to treat all patients suffering from medical emergencies, regardless of their ability to pay. There is a jurisdictional split regarding the scope of a hospital’s EMTALA obligations.
The SHLA team, comprised of Olga Dashevskaya, Megan Daugherty, and Shari Gunnin and coached by Latisha Johnson, represented the Petitioner in their brief, a woman severely injured in an automobile accident who is seeking continued treatment under EMTALA.
Due to their extensive research and collaborative work, they excelled at the written portion of the competition by receiving high scores on their brief.
The Moot Court team consisted of Morgan Leigh, Courtney Brooks Noce, and Courtney Spicer and was coached by David Purvis. Courtney Brooks Noce finished twelfth out of over seventy participants in the oral arguments, and the team advanced to the second round of 16 teams in the competition. The team performed well in oral arguments due to their intense practice schedule. In each practice round, they recorded questions from the bench and then applied the feedback they received at the next practice.
Both teams are grateful to the many fellow law students, law professors, and alumni who took time out of their busy schedules to bench the practice rounds and provide feedback. The teams gained valuable experience and honed skills in both brief writing and public speaking. The competitors and coaches agree that the memories and the strong friendships that developed were among the best parts of the experience.