Guidelines for History 432 Moot Court Sessions

bullet All students are required to participate in one moot court session during the term, which counts for 20% of the final grade. A moot court is patterned after a Supreme Court hearing. No witnesses are called, nor are the basic facts in a case disputed. Arguments are prepared and presented on the application of a law, the constitutionality of a law, or the fairness of previous court procedures.
bullet Teams will be two to a side, and the burden of research/speaking/rebuttal can be divided up as team members see fit.
bullet Arguments do not need to be confined to the ones made in the case. Any argument thought to be persuasive from a philosophical, theoretical, conceptual or practical standpoint can be made. Teams may rely on principles founded on the United States Constitution. On the other hand, arguments that make little intellectual sense will not be rewarded with a good grade.
bullet Each litigant team will present its oral argument to the Chief Justice (otherwise known as the webmaster). Teams should anticipate active questioning from the Chief Justice during oral presentations. Spokespersons representing each litigant team are expected to respond immediately to questions and concerns raised by the judges. Discussions with the judges in this manner will not extend the team's time unless the court exercises its discretion to permit an extension of time for the team's scheduled presentation.
bullet Litigant teams' oral arguments are limited to a specific amount of time. Each side will have 10 minutes to present its case, followed by three minutes of rebuttal time, which should be used to counter opponent's arguments, not to raise new issues.
bullet After the presentations, each side will take questions from the assembled panel of district judges (the class), sitting en banc. Keep in mind that informed questions also will factor into your overall moot court grade for the term.