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Around the Bar

City Bar's 60th Annual National Moot Court Competition

In February, the City Bar’s Young Lawyers Committee, in conjunction with the American College of Trial Lawyers, will host the 60th Annual National Moot Court competition at the House of the Association. Twenty-eight teams will compete for the prestigious national title over four days of competition, Feb. 1st – 4th.

Since 1950, the National Moot Court Competition has been one of the most highly regarded nationwide moot court competitions in the country. This year, 118 law schools submitted 172 teams to compete in the regional rounds throughout the U.S., with two finalists from 14 regions advancing to the final rounds held at the City Bar.

Organizing a National Moot Court competition is a year-round task, said Steven Broer, Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee and a former Moot Court competitor himself. Every March, the committee, along with the City Bar’s Moot Court Associate, Mariann Owens, starts research to select case topics for the coming academic year’s moot court season. As the sponsoring organization, the committee has the task of choosing the two hypothetical cases that will be argued.

Crafting the two cases to be argued – along with the evidence and materials used by competing teams – means putting issues in context. “Fundamentally, we want one substantive issue and one procedural issue. That’s our goal,” said Broer. “Ideally both issues argued will be tried before the Supreme Court within five years. They also need to have national ramifications, and have created a split among courts of appeal.”
This year’s National Moot Court Competition presents two issues not yet decided by the Supreme Court:

1. Does the imposition of a life sentence without the possibility of parole on a juvenile offender convicted in a non-homicide crime violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution?
2. What standard should the court apply when deciding a motion to change venue in which the defendant argues that she cannot receive a fair trial in the current form?

Lawyers with five years of practicing experience interested in serving as a judge in this year’s national competition should contact Mariann Owens at mowens@nycbar.org or 212.382.6635.

List of Schools Competing in Final Rounds, February 1st - 4th, New York, NY:

  • Arizona State University School of Law
  • Boston College Law School
  • Case Western Reserve School of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • Emory University Law School
  • Faulkner University Jones School of Law
  • Fordham University School of Law
  • George Mason University School of Law
  • Hamline University School of Law
  • Loyola University Law School, Chicago
  • Mississippi College School of Law
  • Seattle University School of Law
  • South Texas College of Law
  • St. John's University Law School
  • St. Louis University Law School
  • Syracuse University College of Law
  • Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
  • University of Arkansas Law School
  • University of Baltimore Law School
  • University of California-Hastings School of Law
  • University of Colorado Law School
  • University of Georgia Law School
  • University of Minnesota Law School
  • University of San Francisco Law School
  • University of Washington Law School
  • Wake Forest University Law