Capital Law Students Battle in National Moot Court Competitions

4/24/2014  - 

The best lawyers are “good on their feet” -- they can bring others to their point of view with dazzling use of the spoken word. Capital’s Moot Court program is just one of the many ways the Law School helps students hone this essential skill.

Spring 2014 National Moort Court Team
National Moot Court Team members
Natalie Noyes and Kyle Dodderer.

2014 Adoption Moot Court Team
The Adoption Law Team at practice.
At bench from left: Moot Court Fellow
Michelle Stai and two former
CapLaw National Moot Court
Team Members, Jennifer Mackanos
and John Kopf.
At podium: Adoption Law
Team member Amanda Florio.



In moot court, small teams of students compete against other law schools in a simulated appellate case. Initially, the students are given a complicated legal problem about which they write briefs similar to those filed with courts. Then, they travel to competitions where they engage in oral arguments against other teams before panels of moot court judges. The Moot Court program is administered by a student-run Moot Court Board and coached by professors. (While moot court focuses on appellate level simulations, Capital also has trial practice teams that travel to compete at regional and national events.)

This year five teams of Capital University Law students have traveled to compete in national or regional moot court competitions.

The Spring National Moot Court team fielded two pairs of competitors: Kyle Dodderer and Natalie Noyes, and Emily Owens and Jermaine Colquitt. They traveled to Washington, D.C. in late February to argue a problem involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Coached by Professors Mark Brown and Dan Kobil, the team scored well on its brief and won rounds against Southern Illinois and American University.

The Adoption Law team competed in the National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law, which is hosted by Capital. Third-year students Michael Roney and Amanda Florio argued a complicated provision of Indian Child Welfare Act. Capital’s National Center for Adoption Law and Policy hosts this annual event as part of its national service.

Coached by Professor Fenner Stewart, students Eric Richmond and Christine Schwartz traveled to Widener University in Delaware as part of the Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition. The team argued novel issues surrounding the newly-authorized “public-benefit” corporations.

Jessica Doogan and Gregory Pace traveled to New York City for the Robert F. Wagner National Labor & Employment Law Competition. Professor Floyd Weatherspoon helped the team prepare issues arising from unpaid internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In late March, The Weschler Criminal Law National Moot Court team of Erik Spitzer and Demi Johnson traveled to Buffalo, New York to argue Fourth Amendment issues surrounding the seizure of “smart” phones during arrest.

The moot court program, like the trial practice program, externships, clinic, and classroom simulations, allow students to develop and hone skills that will help them become “practice-ready.” Indeed, National Jurist magazine recently recognized Capital University Law School on its honor roll of schools that deliver practical training.