Rhetoric 2000 Memo
|To:||ALL WABASH COLLEGE MOOT COURT PARTICIPANTS |
(Students and Judges)
|From:||Matthew Griffith, Esq., Class of 1989|
|Subject:||Procedural Issues for This Year's Competition|
|Date:||October 11, 2000|
Let me first thank you all and congratulate students for participating in this year's Moot Court Competition. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as have past participants.
Last year's problem presented some procedural challenges for student-attorneys and alumni-judges alike. We hope to have made things simpler this year. We also hope that this memo will help student-attorneys and judges understand how each round of arguments is to be conducted.
This year's case originated when two citizens, represented by the ACLU and "OCLU," filed a challenge to the posting of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of City Hall in the City of Athens, Olympia (presumably the 51st state to join the Union). The two plaintiff-citizens asked for an injunction to remove the Ten Commandments from City Hall.
The District Court held a bench trial and issued its decision without opinion. You need not and should not concern yourselves with issues concerning the District Court's factual findings. You may assume that all facts presented in the majority and dissenting opinions are supported by the record. This is not a case about the standard of review. Our focus is on the substantive law issues presented by the case.
The District Court ruled against the two citizen-plaintiffs on the law. That is the City of Athens was granted judgment in its favor. The two citizen-plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the District Court. The citizen-plaintiffs have now appealed the decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. Students should assume that they are arguing to the Supreme Court, and judges are to assume that they are Supreme Court justices.
Because the citizen-plaintiffs lost at the Court of Appeals, they are "Petitioners" in this appeal to the Supreme Court. They are "petitioning" the Supreme Court for relief from the Court of Appeals' decision. That is to say that the citizen-plaintiffs are asking the Supreme Court to REVERSE the Court of Appeals.
On the other hand, the City-defendant is the "Respondent" and is asking for the Court of Appeals' decision to be AFFIRMED.
The citizen-plaintiffs (Petitioners) will begin the argument. Here is a schedule describing how each argument should be presented:
1. Attorney no. 1 for Petitioner (Citizen-Plaintiffs) will argue first (Introduction/The monument's purpose is Non-Secular/Religious) for 10 minutes (minus any rebuttal time).
2. Attorney no. 2 for Petitioner (Citizen-Plaintiffs) will argue ( The primary effect is to "Advance Religion."/Prayer for Relief) for 10 minutes (minus any rebuttal time).
3. Attorney no. 1 for Respondent (City-Defendant) will argue (Introduction/The monument furthers primarily a "Secular Purpose.") for 10 minutes.
4. Attorney no. 2 for Respondent (City-Defendant) will argue (The primary effect is not to "Advance Religion."/Prayer for Relief) for 10 minutes.
5. Attorney no. 1 OR 2 (but not both) for Petitioner (Citizen-Plaintiffs) will argue for 1 or 2 minutes in rebuttal. Keep it short, gentlemen!
6. Student-attorneys should leave the room to allow deliberations and scoring.
7. Student-attorneys will soon thereafter return to the courtroom for oral and written comments.
* Finish within one (1) hour so that student-attorneys can prepare for the next round (or eat lunch).
If you have questions or concerns, please call Professor Dave Timmerman at (765) 361-6393 or me at (317) 686-4773. Good luck and enjoy the experience.
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