The 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court competition

The 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court Competition

Joe Stennis, Jr., and Justice Lisabeth Abramson

Of late we've had ample occasion to celebrate the University of Louisville's moot court successes, over and over and over. Those earlier stories have documented our teams' success in intercollegiate competitions. But I hasten, quite happily, to add a recap of the 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court, the Law School's oldest and most prestigious intramural moot court tournament.

The Pirtle-Washer finals took place just before launched The Cardinal Lawyer. I am very pleased, even if I am a bit tardy, to post this recap, in words and images, of this year's Pirtle-Washer competition. We celebrate all of the participants in the competition and congratulate them on their successes.

The results of the 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court Competition

Joe Stennis, Jr., won the 2007 Pirtle-Washer Moot Court Competition, held at the Law School on October 5. The other finalist was Jeff Nicoson. The semifinalists were Caroline Pieroni and John Purlee.

Herewith profiles of the Pirtle-Washer competition's "final four" and the judges who presided over the final rounds:


Jeff Nicoson is a Louisville native who graduated with a B.S. in Enviromental Biology from Taylor University in 2000 and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University for 2003. Prior to coming to the law school, Nicoson worked in Nashville as a Land Planner designing mixed-use subdivisions and commercial properties. He competed on last year's National Health Law Moot Court competition and is on this year's National Moot Court team. Nicoson plans to pursue a career in trial litigation and appellate advocacy.

John Purlee is a second-year law student at the University of Louisville School of Law. Originally from Bedford, Indiana, he graduated from Franklin College of Indiana in 2006, where he majored in Political Science. Purlee is a law clerk at Don Smith Law Offices.

Caroline Lynch Pieroni received her undergraduate degree in journalism at Western Kentucky University in 2002. While at Western, she was named the Associated Press Collegiate Reporter of the Year (2001), won a Gold Circle award for news writing (2001), and also won First Place for Spot News in the national Hearst Journalism Awards Competition. Pieroni spent three years writing business stories at The Courier-Journal before entering law school. She is currently a second-year law school student and a member of the University of Louisville Law Review.

Joe Stennis, Jr., was born and raised in Louisville and is a graduate of Louisville Male High School. Stennis obtained my undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Louisville. Prior to starting law school, he worked in the banking industry as a banking center manger, small business development officer, and investment sales representative. He was selected articles editor for the Journal of Law & Education; completed a summer judicial law clerkship with the Honorable Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert of the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Presiding Judges

The Pirtle-Washer Moot Court Competition would not be possible without the support of alumni and the legal community. This year, the following Kentucky judges have agreed to support this program and hear arguments.

Judges for the Semifinal Round

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Moyer earned his juris doctor from the University of Virginia in 1974. He took the bench in 1996.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Stosberg, a 1973 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, was sworn in on June 30, 1989.

Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Tom Wine (‘80) was born in Louisville. He graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor's degree in 1977 and a juris doctor in 1980. He was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in August 2006 to serve Division 1 of the 4th Appellate District, which consists of Jefferson County. He was subsequently elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2006.

Judges for the Final Round

Supreme Court Justice Mary Noble earned a bachelor's degree in 1971 and a master's degree in 1975 from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. She completed her juris doctor at the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1981. She was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 2006 to serve the 5th Supreme Court District.

Supreme Court Justice Lisa Abramson (‘80) earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville, graduating in 1977 with highest honors. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1980 and was named the Outstanding Graduate of her law school class. She is a former winner of the Pirtle-Washer Competition.

Justice Abramson was sworn in as a justice for the Supreme Court of Kentucky on September 10, 2007, after being appointed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the late Justice William E. McAnulty, Jr. She represents Jefferson County, which comprises the Fourth Supreme Court District.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Martin McDonald (‘88) is a 1988 graduate of the University of Louisville's School of Law. He was elected to Jefferson District Court in November 1993, where he remained until his election to Jefferson Circuit Court in 2003.

Stennis&Abramson.jpg201.87 KB