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Seattle University


Celebrating a Milestone and a Legacy

Written by Katherine Hedland Hansen, School of Law
January 24, 2011

The School of Law marks the 25th anniversary of the Fredric C. Tausend Moot Court Competition this year, honoring past winners, judges and the man for whom the competition is named.  

Tausend is a well-respected lawyer and former dean of the law school. He first joined the law school in 1975 as an adjunct professor while in private law practice. He served as dean from 1980-1986. When he returned to his law practice, the law school’s moot court competition was renamed in his honor. 

"Dean Tausend left a lasting and important legacy for the law school,” said Christopher Rideout, associate director of the Legal Writing Program. “He is an exemplary lawyer, educator, and human being.  He inspired everyone he worked with —through his intelligence, his energy and his wit. He genuinely cared about law students, their educations, and their careers. Twenty-five years after his departure, we remain a law school that is still shaped by his vision, and today we honor him and thank him for his many contributions.” 

The finals are set for Tuesday, Feb. 1, and a reception will follow. The first Tausend competition was held in 1986. The Tacoma News Tribune ran a story and photo about it, featuring Vickie Churchill making an argument. She won that competition, and she is now an accomplished judge in Island County. She is one of many people who benefited from their Moot Court experiences. More than a dozen past competitors will serve as judges for rounds leading up the finals.  

“This wonderful competition does an excellent job of preparing young lawyers-to-be for the rigors of briefing and arguing cases in any court,” said Ken Masters, a 1992 graduate and appellate lawyer who has judged more than 75 rounds.  

In fact, one of his partners, Shelby Lemmel ’02, is a past Tausend winner and remains a Moot Court coach and judge. Masters said he first discovered her while judging a competition.  

Tausend believed in setting and maintaining high standards and opening the profession of law to under-represented groups. He formed the school’s Academic Resource Center program and the acclaimed Legal Writing program.  

“Dean Tausend has been a great mentor to literally hundreds, and probably to thousands of lawyers, including me,” Masters said. “I was very honored when Fred asked me to regularly participate as a semi-final judge in his competition. I see the competitions named in his honor and other moot court competitions as great opportunities to share his example of professionalism.”