The University of Maryland just completed the 2022-2023 collegiate mock trial season as the 5th ranked moot court team in the country (out of 200 that competed).
This Moot Court Competition is being organized by Professor Michael Spivey and UMD-CP students.
The Terp "Fearless" Moot Court Challenge
On Saturday, May 6, University of Maryland College Park is hosting a High School Moot Court Competition for more than 30 Maryland students.
We need judges for each round! A sign-up genius is available for morning and afternoon rounds. The student arguments will be judged by graduates of the University of Maryland moot court program, law students, university faculty, and attorneys. Although the event will be organized as a competition, the judges will be well aware that this may be the first “legal” argument many students have ever attempted. The judges will do their best to make the experience a positive one for every participant. Each student will receive detailed feedback from the judges after each argument.
What is Moot Court?
Moot court is an activity in which students participate in an oral argument in the style of a presentation before an appellate court. The students’ presentations are based upon a fictional case crafted to permit them to analyze and present opposing arguments related to a contemporary constitutional issue. Moot court competitions are held for law school, university and high school students.
Although collegiate and law school moot court competitions involve teams of 2 students arguing 2 distinct constitutional issues (e.g. a 1st Amendment issue and a 14th Amendment issue), our high school moot court competition will present a single 4th Amendment issue, specifically, whether the warrantless use of a drone by law enforcement to collect information regarding potential illegal activity violates the 4th Amendment. Our competition will feature single students competing against each other. A school may enter an unlimited number of students. There will be a maximum of 32 spaces for student participants. [The deadline for registering was April 7, 2023.]
This Year's Case
The arguments will be based upon the moot court problem utilized by the American Moot Court Association (AMCA) for this year’s national collegiate competition (as modified by UMD with the AMCA’s permission). The materials consist of an appellate decision which includes a discussion of the relevant facts for the case and majority and dissenting opinions. This is a closed packet problem. This means that arguments are limited to cases listed in the competition packet. In this case, there are six cases that students may use to make their arguments. (These cases are listed at the end of the case problem and are on our website.) Faculty sponsors will be provided a bench memo outlining the key issues and arguments which teachers may use in preparing their advocates for the competition. Teachers may share this information with students at their discretion.
Each student will be guaranteed at least 2 arguments. After all students have participated in 2 rounds of arguments, we will rank advocates and the best advocates will then compete in a single-elimination tournament-style competition (think March madness!). The number of students advancing and thus the number of elimination rounds will depend upon the total number of advocates participating.
Each advocate will receive a maximum of 10 minutes to present his/her argument. After a certain amount of “protected time” in which the judges will remain silent, the judges will likely interrupt the students’ presentations to ask questions. Advocates for petition may reserve up to two minutes for rebuttal of respondent argument. There is no rebuttal for respondents.