Moot Court Board Announces Try-Out Competition

4/29/2014  -  One of Capital Law School’s spring rituals is currently underway: students are trying out for a place on one of the law school’s moot court competition teams.

In the try-outs, students present a 15-minute oral argument before a panel of law school faculty and student Moot Court Board members. The panel of “judges” fires questions at the applicants in an effort to test their knowledge of the law, their poise, and their ability to think on their feet. Those who fare best in the “mooting,” as these mock arguments are called, are invited to serve on one of the law school’s moot court competition teams.

In this year’s try-out, the applicants will argue the case of Archer v. Spanish Joint Foods – a fictional case involving the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiff, Michael Archer, was an employee of Spanish Joint Foods, a medium-sized grocer, where he worked as a grocery stocker. Archer slipped on a patch of ice in the store freezer and severely damaged his shoulder. He then requested reassignment to a cashier position. Two cashier positions opened up, but Spanish Joint hired others who it believed were more qualified. The ADA requires employers to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to disabled employees. Is it “reasonable” to demand that an employer hire a disabled employee for a vacant position in place of other, more qualified applicants? That is the question that the applicants will be arguing before the panel. Some will represent Mr. Archer, and some will represent the grocery store.

Each of the applicants should be familiar with this problem; it formed the basis of the Appellate Advocacy course that each of them just completed. Several years ago, Capital modernized its moot court program by requiring all applicants to take Appellate Advocacy as a pre-requisite to trying out for a moot court competition team. In the Appellate Advocacy course, students learn to write appellate briefs and conduct oral argument. This preparation should make them more prepared for law practice. It should also make them better moot court competitors and so strengthen Capital’s moot court teams.

The Law School currently fields teams for six moot court competitions:

The New York City Bar Association’s National Moot Court Competition

The American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Capital Law School’s own National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law

The Ruby R. Vale Corporate Law Moot Court Competition at Widener Law School

The Herbert J. Wechsler National Moot Court Competition at SUNY Buffalo Law School

The Robert F. Wagner National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition at New York Law School

The students who perform best in the try-outs will be asked to join one of these teams. Good luck applicants! Argue well!