MOOT COURT COMPETITION

Moot court is an extracurricular activity at many law schools in which participants take part in simulated court or arbitration proceedings, usually involving drafting memorials or memoranda and participating in oral argument. In most countries, the phrase "moot court" may be shortened to simply "moot" or "mooting". Participants are either referred to as "mooters" or, less conventionally, "mooties".

Moot court involves a simulated appellate court (appellate advocacy) or arbitral case, which is different from a mock trial that involves a simulated jury trial or bench trial (trial advocacy). Moot court does not involve actual testimony by witnesses, cross-examination, or the presentation of evidence, but is focused solely on the application of the law to a common set of evidentiary assumptions, facts, and clarifications/corrections to which the competitors are introduced. Though not a moot in the traditional sense, alternative dispute resolution competitions focusing on mediation and negotiation have also branded themselves as moot competitions in recent times.

Moot court is one of the key extracurricular activities in many law schools (the others being law review and clinical work). Depending on the competition, students may spend a semester researching and writing the memorials, and another semester practicing their oral arguments, or may prepare both within the span of a few months. Whereas domestic moot court competitions tend to focus on municipal law such as criminal law or contract law, regional and international moot competitions tend to focus on subjects such as public international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, international trade law, international maritime law, international commercial arbitration, and foreign direct investment arbitration. Procedural issues pertaining to jurisdiction, standing, and choice of law are also occasionally engaged, especially in arbitration moots.

In most moot competitions, each side is represented by two speakers or oralists (though the entire team composition may be larger) and a third member, sometimes known as of counsel, may be seated with the speakers. Each speaker usually speaks between 10 and 25 minutes, covering one to three main issues. After the main submissions are completed, there will usually be a short round of rebuttal and even surrebuttal. Depending on the format of the moot, there may be one or two rounds of rebuttal and surrebuttal, and communications between speakers may or may not be prohibited. Throughout the course of the submissions, judges may ask questions, though in some competitions questions are reserved to the end of submissions. In larger competitions, teams have to participate in up to ten rounds; the knockout/elimination stages are usually preceded by a number of preliminary rounds to determine seeding. Teams almost always must switch sides (applicant/appellant/claimant on one side, and respondent on the other) throughout a competition, and, depending on the format of the moot, the moot problem usually remains the same throughout. The scores of the written submissions are taken into consideration for most competitions to determine qualification and seeding, and sometimes even up to a particular knockout stage.

[Text from Wikipedia]

Organizers for the Sacramento Moot Court Competitions are McGeorge School of Law and UC Davis School of Law. More information can be found on their respective websites.