Adam LoCascio of Huntington was the winner of the annual George C. Baker Cup Moot Court Competition at West Virginia University's College of Law. (Photo courtesy of WVU)

MORGANTOWN -– The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals judged Adam LoCascio to be the winner of Tuesday's annual George C. Baker Cup Moot Court Competition at West Virginia University's College of Law.

But LoCascio, a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marine Corps from Huntington, felt his victory was shared with his classmates, including Caitlin Bailey, of Charleston, the competition's other finalist.

"One of the best things about the WVU College of Law is the camaraderie of the students," LoCascio said. "When I went into (WVU's Marlyn Lugar Courtroom), all the students were in the courtroom behind me. I felt like, 'We're all in this together.'

"And Caitlin Bailey is also a winner. The scores were so close, I feel like she's a winner, too."

The contest judged by the justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

This year's topic centered around the constitutional rights of an individual who is arrested, focusing on the Fourth Amendment, which assures freedom from unreasonable seizures, and the 14th Amendment, which guarantees the right to due legal process. The case involved an arrested man who claimed police used excessive force and caused him injury after his arrest.

The justices ruled on the appellate advocacy skills of the two students. Since 1982, the competition has been open to all second-year students, who must write an appellate brief and present oral arguments on both sides of the issue.

LoCascio described the experience as "really humbling."

"You're a little nervous going in but after you get going it drops off," he said. "I'm honored for the opportunity to speak in front of the Supreme Court of Appeals."

In 1926, George Coleman Baker, a graduate of the class of 1886, presented a silver-plated loving cup to the College of Law. The purpose was to promote excellence in appellate advocacy. The cup was awarded each year to the club court winning the interclub competition. The club court teams eventually disbanded.

In 1968, then dean Paul Selby discovered the silver cup in the basement of the old law school and reinstated the competition. In 1980, the Baker Cup Endowment was created to provide cash prizes and commemorative plaques for winners.

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