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How to Please the Court

A Moot Court Handbook


Edited By Paul I. Weizer

Designed for anyone who has an interest in using moot court simulations as an educational exercise, How to Please the Court brings together prominent moot court faculty who share their collective years of experience in building a successful moot court program. Touching on all aspects of the moot court experience, this book guides the reader through conducting legal research, the structure of an oral argument, the tournament experience, and the successes and rewards of competition.
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Chapter One: Moot Court: Commitment and Rewards



Moot Court: Commitment and Rewards

Lewis Ringel and Charles Knerr


Here is the thing: there is a decision to be made and it is yours to make. You are a student justice considering the facts of a court case in an appellate simulation known as moot court. A moot court is an academic exercise in which students “try” a legal case before an appellate court. This is not to be confused with a mock trial. In a mock trial, students try facts before a trial court. To try facts is to judge innocence or guilt or, in a civil matter, to decide if a party, such as a corporation, is liable for an action or if a party, such as a government, exceeded its powers or violated some civil law. There is a prosecution and a defense team, comprised of students, who deliver opening statements, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and deliver closing statements. In a moot court, there is no trial. The trial has already occurred; someone or something has already been found innocent or guilty, someone or something has already had a civil issue settled, or someone or something has already been told that their or its actions violate some section of a constitution. In a moot court, someone or something is protesting the validity of a trial court decision. The issue is not did the trial court misconstrue the...

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