On Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, 2017, the Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition will take place in Washington, DC. The Competition will be co-hosted by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center and Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law Moot Court Association. The rules governing the Competition are:
The Competition will conduct preliminary rounds on Friday, March 24, 2017at Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.
Quarter-final and semifinal round will take place at the Newseum, on the morning of Saturday, March 25, 2017.
The Final Round will take place at the Newseum, on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25.
The schedule for the preliminary rounds of the competition will be emailed on or about February 20, 2017. Teams will be divided into “flights.” For a 24-team field, Flight 1 consists of Team Numbers 1-4. Flight 2 consists of Team Numbers 5-8. Flight 3 consists of Team Numbers 9-12. Flight 4 consists of Team Numbers 13-16. Flight 5 consists Team Numbers 17-20. Flight 6 consists of Team Numbers 21-24. However, flights will be used for organizational purposes only in the preliminary rounds.
A final schedule for competition rounds will be sent in advance of the competition dates, but competitors should prepare for the first preliminary round on Friday, March 24, 2017, to begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. ET.
Each team should be prepared to represent both parties to the litigation. Each team will compete at least once representing the party for which a written brief was prepared (on-brief), and at least once for the party opposite the written brief (off-brief). Please note that participants are responsible for making a timely appearance at each round once the time is set. Late arrivals may be penalized at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor.
The first Quarterfinal Round will commence at 8 a.m., Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Newseum.
The second Quarterfinal Round will commence at 9:30 a.m., Saturday March 25, 2017.
The first Semifinal Round will be from approximately Noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Newseum. One of the winners two of Quarterfinal Round 1 will face one of the winners of Quarterfinal Round 2.
The second Semifinal Round will be from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017,at the Newseum. The other winner of Quarterfinal Round 1 will face the other winner of Quarterfinal Round 2.
To the extent possible, teams will be allowed to argue on-brief, but no guarantees are made. If any team will be required to argue off-brief, then, in the interest of fairness, the teams will draw to determine their side designation. The two teams with the highest scores, as determined solely by their oral argument scores in the semifinal round, will advance to the final round.
The final round will be held at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017. To the extent possible, the two teams advancing to the final round will argue on-brief. If this is not possible, side designations will be determined by coin toss, the team with the highest score will call the coin in the air. The winner of the final round will be determined solely by the final round judges, based on the final round oral performances of the participating teams. There will be no numerical scoring of the final round.
Each team shall consist of not more than three (3) student members. Team members must be students enrolled in a full or part-time program at the law school they represent. Only candidates for a Juris Doctor at an ABA-accredited law school may participate in this Competition. All team members may participate in the writing of the brief and may present oral argument. However, in any single round, exactly two team members must argue. No substitution of team members will be permitted after the team has submitted its brief, except upon written consent of the Vice Chancellor.
Reserving the right to distribute the following earlier, on November 15, 2016, the teams will be provided with the following via e-mail: (1) a randomly selected team number and; (2) the party that they will represent for the written brief. The side designations are randomly assigned and are not subject to alteration.
The team number provided will be used to identify the participating school until the completion of the competition. Revealing your school name at any point after team numbers are assigned may result in disqualification of a school’s team.
Any communication relating to the competition between schools and between team members of different schools is prohibited. All communication about the competition should be made directly to the Vice Chancellor via e-mail.
Moot Court Board Chancellor Columbus School of Law
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Road, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20064
In addition, each team must submit, via e-mail, one (1) copy of the brief by 5:00 p.m. EST on January 31, 2017. Please note that the briefs must be sent electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be sure that the electronic copy contains only the team number and not the school’s or competitor’s name. The brief submitted via email must be the same as the hardcopy. The subject of the email should be name “[School Number_Respondant/Petitioner_Final Brief].”
|FORMAT ERRORS||POINT DEDUCTIONS|
|Cover must be of hard or heavy surface and be the correct color.||2|
|Brief not bound||2|
|Non-one inch margin||2|
|Non-double spaced text and single spaced footnotes||2|
|Non-12 point Times New Roman font including footnotes||2|
|Non-8 ½ x11 paper||2|
|Non-Compliance with Rule 24(1)(a)-(j) of the Rules of the United States Supreme Court||2/per error|
|Pages in excess of 40 not including those pages discussed in Rule III(D)(2)(h)||1/page|
|Competitor names or name of team including law school on any location except on front cover of measuring brief||1/per occurrence|
|Late submission of briefs to Vice Chancellor (Postmark deadline of January 31, 2017)||5/day|
|Submission of wrong side brief||10|
|Submission of wrong number of briefs to Vice Chancellor||1/copy|
|Failure to include brief certificate to Vice Chancellor (Includes: 1) A statement that the work product contained in all copies of the team’s brief are the work product of the members of the team only; 2) A statement that the team has complied fully with its law school honor code; and 3) An acknowledgment that the team has complied with all the Rules of the Competition).||1|
|Failure to submit Measuring Brief to Vice Chancellor (Includes: 1) Typewritten names of all team members; 2) Their signatures; 3) Team number assigned by the Vice Chancellor and; 4) The name of their law school on the front cover page of the brief)||1|
|Minor Citation Errors – does not impair the ability of the reader to identify or find the authority and that does not misrepresent the material.||½ point / per error|
|Major Citation Errors – affects the ability of the reader to find or identify the authority or misrepresents the material.||1 point / per error|
The team that wins the final round will be designated the Best Team. The Best Team, the team that wrote the Best Brief (as determined by the final brief scores) and the Best Oralist (based solely on the competitor’s preliminary round oral argument scores) will be announced following the conclusion of the final round of the Competition. All other awards will be awarded at that time.
All participants and judges are invited to attend the second day of the competition, and the awards event following final argument.
One of the purposes of this Competition is to develop the skills of appellate advocacy. Accordingly, the team members themselves must write their own briefs and prepare their own oral arguments. Faculty members, fellow students, attorneys or other individuals must not review, edit or otherwise assist in the preparation of a team’s brief. Likewise, such individuals may not prepare the team members’ oral arguments for them. Participants may discuss issues and ideas relating to the Competition problem with faculty, fellow students, or others, and may use the assistance of such individuals to prepare for oral arguments in the form of mooting, question and answer sessions, etc. However, no other form of external assistance may be provided to the competitors.
 Only identify yourself and your school by team number, not school name.