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2024 Moot Court in the books

Feb. 13 and 14 saw the 2024 Milam County Moot Court Competition take place here at the Courthouse with teams from our Milam County High Schools competing in the competition. When I took office there was some concern about this new tradition continuing, but we felt this was one of the best things to happen in Milam County in the last four or five years and we wanted to see this become a tradition. There are a lot of moving parts to holding this event and without much to go on, our staff worked very hard to make this the best Moot Court event to date.

In years past, this event had been held in November or December; a time that was often intertwined with the holidays, sports playoffs, testing, and other end-of-semester activities. Having the youngest of our eight kids still in high school, and after consulting with the school administrations and teaching sponsors, we found that the second week in February would be the best time to hold this event. After looking at the court schedules we determined the dates and started working. 

Luckily, Denise had retained quite a bit of records from previous competitions, so we were able to forge a game plan and get things started. A special thanks to Denise for her help. She is definitely key to everything that goes on in this office and her help with the 2024 Moot Court has been paramount to its success. 

In the past the entire event was housed in the courthouse, this year we utilized the Venue at Railfan as a place for the teams, the judges, and the sponsors to stage out of. By utilizing the venue, it gave everyone a place to relax, prepare for their next event, socialize with the other teams and the judges, and maybe even do some homework (they are high school students after all). A big thank you to Barbara Dominguez and her staff for their hospitality. They made the event so much better by housing everyone and feeding the contestants. Barbara’s Hot Corner Food catering was a hit with everyone, and she kept us stuffed for the entire two days.

The Yoe High team of Tessa Vaculin and Mackenzie Mahan won the event with the Milano Team of Peyton Steinbecker and Samantha McCary in the First Runner-Up position. Milano also had Third and Fourth Place teams with Rayelee Keen and Lakota Seal finishing 3rd and Cayden Stein and Kenia Vidales finishing fourth. Out of this group there was only one member of the Senior class, which is sort of ironic for these sorts of events where age and experience play a huge role. It’s also pretty impressive and makes us excited for the future with so many underclassmen in the final four.

Thanks to attorneys Craig Brown, Brian Price, Lonnie Gosch, and Matthew Humble for their help in working with the teams. Thanks to all those who served on the judging panel including Craig Brown, Brian Price, Matthew Humble, David Morrison, Connor Buchanan, Judge John Youngblood, Brandon Dakroub, Judge Frank Summers, and Justices of the Peace Greg Hoelscher and Andy Isaacs. Without the judges to sit on the panel there would be no contest. Also, thanks to our Bailiffs Kim Stewart and Bonnie Acosta for helping keep the peace in the courtroom.

Lastly, we greatly appreciate our sponsors. This event takes quite a bit of money to put on and our sponsors are amazing. Nextera Energy funded the scholarship money that each of the teams won. Each member of the champion team gained a $1,500 scholarship; $750 each for the runner-up, $300 each for 3rd place and $250 each for the 4th place team. Sandow Lakes Ranch sponsored all of the food. We thank the individual sponsors as well including Michelle Lehmkuhl, Diaz & Wright, Town Square Community Foundation, Rhoades & Humble Law Firm, Classis Bank, EBCO, Rockdale Rotary, Perry & Perry Builders, Artisan Alley Coffee Shop, and the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen. 

Many folks came to us and told us how much they liked this year’s moot court experience and while many of the returning folks complimented us on the improved experience. We are currently working on a lessons learned in order to make sure that any weak spots are even more improved so that the 2025 Moot Court Competition is better than ever.

Again, thank you to all the participants, judges, staff, and the sponsors. I for one am looking forward to the 2025 competition.

The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902