About Moot Court
Moot Court focuses on the appellate court process and is designed to provide students the opportunity to present a simulated oral argument and respond to questions posed by a panel of volunteer judges. Arguments are evaluated on the application of the law to the facts of the case. Moot Court also gives many students their first experience in legal writing by allowing participants to compose a legal brief related to their arguments that will be reviewed and scored by volunteer attorneys. By focusing on the applicability of Constitutional law to current legal issues, students get an opportunity to strengthen critical thinking skills and increase their understanding of the Constitution and judicial system.
Moot Court Competition
Congratulations to all teams that competed in the 2017 Moot Court Competition!
Gilmour Academy 2017 Moot Court Competition State Champs
pictured with Justice Patrick Fischer of the Supreme Court of Ohio
Runner Up- Springfield High School, Team Themis
Semi-finalists: Indian Hill High School and Danville High School
Quarter-finalists: Springfield High School -Team Austin, Sycamore High School, Gilmour Academy -Team Brandon, and William Mason High School
Preliminary Participants: Marysville High School – Team 1 and 2, Kenton High School, Upper Arlington High School, and Village Academy
CLICK HERE to watch the 2017 Final Round
Appeal to your students with Moot Court!
Teachers, now is the perfect time to get your students involved in the Moot Court program for the 2017-2018 school year! The Ohio Moot Court program offers students a unique opportunity to learn more about the appellate court process, and takes place in the Supreme Court of Ohio. The 2018 Moot Court competition will take place on May 4, 2018. Stay tuned for important program dates!
These costs are subject to change for the 2017-2018 season.
Attorneys: interested in serving as a Moot Court Team Legal Advisor, Competition Judge, or Brief Evaluator? OCLRE Volunteer Opportunities Form 2016-2017
Check back in January for errata for the 2017-2018 school year.
The following lessons will help introduce moot court concepts and brief writing to your students. Please feel free to use and adapt these lessons to match your needs.
- Intro to Appellate Process and Moot Court - PowerPoint
- Intro to Appellate Process and Moot Court - Lesson Plan
- Intro to Appellate Process and Moot Court - Student Guided Notes
- CREXAC Lesson Plan - Handout 1
- CREXAC Lesson Plan - Handout 2
- Moot Court - CREXAC Legal Writing - Lesson Plan - PS
- Moot Court - CREXAC Legal Writing - Lesson Plan - PS
To assist students in writing their brief, this Model Brief Template can be used. Students should adhere closely to the model, and should refer to the descriptions of each section in determining where to place information.
For questions or to get more information please contact Cecilia Burford at Cburford@oclre.org
How do I get started?
If you or your school/organization are new to the Moot Court Program, welcome! We’re glad you’re here. First, you will need the case file. The case file will be available in December for order on the OCLRE website. Once you have ordered the case file, it will be sent to you digitally. Be sure to register for the Moot Court professional development taking place in December. At the professional development, you will learn more about how to start a team and how to prepare your team for competition.
I’ve got my case materials. Is that all? Am I ready to compete?
Not quite! Team registration is a separate cost and registration form. Registration deadline for the 2016-2017 program year is Wednesday April 5. Most team advisors wait until closer to the registration deadline, to make sure that student interest hasn’t waned and to be certain of the number of teams they will field. A team consists of 3-6 students. We strongly suggest enrolling more team members to account for potential changes in the roster.
How is the Moot Court Competition Structured?
There are two phases. Once you have ordered your case file and registered your team, you will need to start on the first phase of competition: brief writing. The briefs are due via email to Cecilia Burford (Cburford@oclre.org) by April 10th. Brief scores account for 40% of your overall score. Once you have submitted your brief, all teams compete for the first time at the competition on May 5th at the Ohio Supreme Court in Columbus. All teams will compete in the preliminary rounds on May 5th, and advancing teams will compete in Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the final round on the same day.
My students and I are struggling with start-up. Who can help us?
We have teacher mentors for all of its programs, including moot court. Teacher mentors have expressed willingness to help other teachers who are new to a program, to answer questions from the teacher perspective or offer advice. Click Here to access a list of mentors. You can also contact the Moot Court Program Coordinator Cecilia Burford (Cburford@oclre.org).
How much time should my students and I spend on practice and preparation?
The short and simple answer is: it varies. Some teams are classroom based and therefore spend class time each week preparing. Other teams are extra-curricular and meet one or more times per week, before or after school or on weekends. Others may only have time to meet a few times per month. There is no right or wrong answer. Figure out what works best for you, your fellow advisors (if any), and your students. The case is released in December and the competition date is in May, so many teams spend around 5 months preparing. Some teams spend time in advance of the case release going over the basics of moot court, such as the appellate court system, how to read a court opinion, constructing legal arguments, etc.
I don’t have a legal advisor. Do I need one?
We do not require that moot court teams have a legal advisor, however, most teachers appreciate assistance from volunteer attorneys, who help students understand case law, courtroom procedure and etiquette. Often times the legal advisor is the parent of a student, or a local attorney who volunteers in his/her community. Time commitment for volunteer legal advisors varies, and is worked out between the teacher/team advisor and attorney. If you are unable to find a legal advisor, contact Cecilia Burford (Cburford@oclre.org), we may be able to put you in contact with an interested local attorney.
I have a question about, or found a discrepancy in, the facts of the case and/or a witness statement. What do I do?
An errata will be posted on the Moot Court page every two weeks beginning in January and going through March. Errata questions must be submitted by the teacher or legal advisor, not students, and should be directed to Cecilia Burford (Cburford@oclre.org)
My school doesn’t have a moot court team, but I want to get involved. What can I do?
Are you a high school student?
Start by talking to a teacher – it could be a social studies teacher, the drama teacher, or even the principal. If you and three or more interested students are willing to take on the challenge, the teacher may be willing, too. There is some expense involved, so make sure to factor that into consideration. If you get buy-in from school personnel, refer the person to the top of this list of FAQs for next steps. If a student can’t convince a teacher in his/her school, please contact us. On occasion, there are other opportunities to get involved.
I am having trouble with the online order form and am getting frustrated. What should I do?
Don’t worry – OCLRE is here to help! Call us at (614) 485-3510 or toll-free at (877)485-3510 and ask for Cathy. She can guide you through problems and make sure you get what you need. Additionally, Cathy can answer questions about user names and passwords, as well as payment options. We endeavor to continually improve our online order and registration processes to benefit our customers, and your feedback helps us to do so.
What are the payment options for online orders and registrations? Do I have to use a credit card?
We offer several payment options. You may pay with a credit card, request to be invoiced, or enter a purchase order (PO) number. If the PO number is not known at the time an order is placed, you may select the purchase order option and then enter “pending” for the number.
How do I know if my order/registration has been completed successfully?
When orders and registrations have been submitted successfully to us, an automatic email confirmation is generated and should arrive in your inbox within minutes. If you do not receive a confirmation email within an hour, please contact our office at 614-485-3510.
A few helpful hints for proper form completion:
Follow the process all the way through, using the “Next” and “Submit” buttons.
Complete all required (*) fields, or you will not be able to proceed/finish
Complete the payment portion of the form, even if you are not paying by credit card. Other options that you can select include requesting an invoice or entering a PO number (or indicate that a PO is in process and the number is “pending”)