Moot Court Process

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The basic structure of a moot court competition is similar to what would occur in actual appeal practice. Participants are usually given an issue in advance that includes the facts of the underlying case, and often an opinion from a lower court that is challenged in the question. Students must then do their research and prepare for this case as if they were lawyers or advocates for one or sometimes both parties. Depending on the competition, entrants may be required to submit written submissions, participate in oral arguments, or both. The case or problem is often of current interest, sometimes imitating a real case, and sometimes invented to answer difficult legal questions. Moot Court is a student activity that began at Harvard Law School in 1820 and can now be found in almost every American law school. The mock trial usually simulates the proceedings of appellate courts, but can also simulate the proceedings of courts or international dispute settlement bodies. Unlike the mock trial – another law school activity – the mock trial does not simulate a jury or trial, so there is no evidence or testimony. On the contrary, the moot court requires participants to apply the law to the facts of a fictitious case and to argue either for the defendant who won in the lower court or for the challenger plaintiff. In general, the facts of mock trials are written in a balanced manner and do not outweigh one participant`s argument over the other. Once students have completed the research, they build their case and write a skeletal argument.

This document describes the case and is given to the other participants and judges before the trial. The other part also provides a skeletal argument. This helps to target the mock trial and provides the opportunity to formulate counter-arguments. The mock trial is an extracurricular activity in many law schools. Participants participate in mock judicial or arbitral proceedings, usually with the drafting of briefs or memoranda and participation in oral hearings. In most countries, the term “moot court” can simply be abbreviated to “pleading” or “pleading”. Participants are called “pleadings” or, less conventionally, “mooties.” Those who are prepared for moot court competitions should keep the following things in mind – The moot court board will hold trials for these moot court teams during the fall semester, but will not make any decisions or recommendations as to which students will be included in each team. Professor Fasulo decides, in collaboration with the advisors of the individual team, which students are selected for which advocacy team. The mock trial covers the appeal process rather than a trial, so there is no jury, witnesses or evidence.

Instead, students receive a hypothetical case and assume the role of the appellant or respondent. The plaintiffs will speak first, arguing that the decision of the original trial was wrong. The respondents will then present their arguments in defence of the original judgment. In addition, a moot court provides an opportunity to improve the manner and etiquette in the courtroom. Students must learn and use the correct language of the yard and make sure they approach them all correctly. Finally, after participating, participants can reflect on their performance and refine their approach before the next competition. Advocacy is not the same as public speaking or debate, although it shares some elements in common with these activities. It is a specialized application of the art of persuasive advocacy. It has been part of the process of training lawyers for centuries and plays an important role in legal education at Oxford. During the mock trial, participants first receive an appeal file of the mock case and then usually write an appeal brief.

They can select the side of the case they want to represent, or a page can be assigned. Once the pleading is filed, participants begin to prepare for their oral argument. The specific rules of the competition determine the duration of the oral argument, the time allotted to the oral proceedings and the number of participants who will speak. Each round of a moot court competition is presided over by a jury of “judges” – depending on the level of competition, these judges can be other law students, law professors, practicing lawyers, or even real practicing judges. Judges ask questions during the hearing and force participants to quickly change their line of thought and think analytically about their feet. After both parties have presented their oral arguments, the judges evaluate the participants based on their oral argument skills. Participants who make it to the next round may have to change the side of the case they represent. The hearing will be at the centre of the mock trial, so it is important to understand all the important information.

However, this is not just a speech to judges. Rather, it is a conversation between the proponents and the committee. Try to establish and maintain eye contact with the judges. Speak slowly and clearly when raising the case, and give the judge a moment to find all the items cited in the trial kit. During the oral presentation, a judge may also ask questions or clarify an issue raised, so be prepared to respond to the judge`s requests. A moot court competition simulates a court hearing (usually an appeal against a final decision) in which participants analyze an issue, research the relevant legislation, prepare written submissions, and present oral arguments. Theoretical questions are usually established in areas of law that are not resolved or that are the subject of recent developments. They normally involve two grounds of appeal raised by each party. Mock courts have two teams – defendant and defendant. The discussion is a hypothetical case and both teams need to research and present their arguments. The culture of advocacy began in India in 1981 and has since been used as a persuasive advocacy tool to train the next generation of lawyers.

As the mock trial approaches, students will also prepare a trial file. This will be submitted to the judge and should include the skeletal argument as well as any legal arguments on which the case is based. The test dossier shall be well presented and complete. Consider using clearly marked tabs and highlighting important parts of the text. This can help the judge navigate the document during the hearing. Each party must prepare written and oral arguments, which it presents to a judge or panel of judges as part of the mock trial. After hearing the arguments, the jury will decide on the basis of these observations and declare a winner. The procedure mimics what followed in real courts: the judge enters, the litigants and the judge bow, the clerk announces the case, the litigants appear and are then successively invited to present their observations, the judge asks questions of the litigants, the court adjourns and the judge then returns to make a brief judgment and give feedback.

To prepare for the mock trial, participants must have a clear understanding of the scenario they faced and create a strong argument in support of their case. Some of the world-renowned moot court competitions that are held internationally every year are – so these were the basics of mooting. We hope that you are now familiar with the mock trial procedure. For more content like this, follow Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and LinkedIn! In larger competitions, teams must participate in a maximum of ten rounds; The knockout/elimination phases are usually preceded by several preliminary rounds to determine the list of seedlings (power seeding is often used). Teams almost always have to switch sides during a competition (plaintiff/plaintiff/plaintiff on one side and defendant on the other), and depending on the format of the pleading, the problem of the pleading generally remains the same throughout the competition. Scores from written submissions are taken into account for most competitions to determine qualification (whether for the competition or for the playoffs) and the list of seeds, and sometimes even up to a certain elimination phase. Participation in the mock trial is relevant for some law school rankings. [3] [4] A moot court or trial simulates a real-life court environment to give law students the opportunity to put their learning into practice. Mock courts are attracting the attention of more and more law students in the United States.