Ames Moot Court 1959: Remembering a signature accomplishment

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On a sunny day in June, seven members of the Sacks club, the team that won the Ames Moot Court Competition in 1959, met on the steps of Langdell library to reminisce over what they called their “unlikely” victory, and to talk about where their lives had taken them in the fifty years since.

The reunion was occasioned by a box that Joseph Steinberg, one of the two main oralists for the team, had dug up in his basement—filled with a collection of printed briefs from the Sacks club and their opponents in all three rounds of the competition and copies of the posters that had been put up around campus to advertise the highly anticipated event.

Steinberg contacted David Warrington, until this past summer the head of archives and special collections at the law library, who was eager to add the collection to the Law School’s archives. Then Steinberg contacted his former teammates—Ansel Chaplin, John Demmler, Geoffrey Gowen, Richard Hobson, John C. Keene, Gordon Millspaugh Jr,. and Walter Noel Jr.—to ask them to dig through their own collections. Slowly the idea of a reunion was born.

Read more about the Sacks club reunion and the Ames Moot Court on the Harvard Law School website.