May 17, 2011 13:42 Age: 3 yrs

Emory Law Grad Wins 2011 Burton Award for Legal Writing

Adam McDonell Moline 11L was selected as a 2011 recipient of the prestigious Burton Award for Legal Achievement. Moline’s article, “Nineteenth Century Principles for Twenty-First Century Pleading,” earned him a spot as one of 15 law school winners nationwide.

Moline’s article defends two recent, controversial Supreme Court decisions—Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal—citing an essay by 19th-century legal reformer David Dudley Field, which served as the prototype for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

“There is essentially no one in the academe who is willing to defend both of these decisions on their merits, and I think my paper is unique in doing that,” Moline says.

The Burton Award, established in 1999 and presented annually by the Burton Foundation, is dedicated to rewarding effective legal writing. The award recognizes lawyers and law students who “use plain, clear and concise language and avoid archaic, stilted legalese.” Student recipients are selected from nominations by their deans.

Moline’s comment was published in Emory Law Journal and also won the Mary Laura “Chee” Davis Award for Best Journal Comment.

He will be honored June 13 at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Speakers and honored guests will include Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer.

Moline is the eighth Emory Law student to win this award. Past recipients include Alex J. Whitman 10L, James McDonough III 07L, Jason D. Medinger 04L, Jason R. Edgecombe 99C 03L, Rachel D. King 02L, Gordon L. Hamrick 96OX 98C 01L and James R. Robinson 00L.

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