Hardt Cup 2012 - Duke University School of Law

Hardt Cup Coordinators
 Doug Hollins
 Jules Mugema
 Zi-Xiang Shen
 [email protected]
What is the Moot Court
 Appellate Advocacy at Duke Law
 Intramural Competitions
 Jessup Cup
 Hardt Cup
 Dean’s Cup
 Interscholastic Competitions
 http://law.duke.edu/students/orgs/mootcourt/
Hardt Cup Overview
 Oral Argument: the Basics
 What Is It?
 Why Do It?
 Hardt Cup Format
 Structure
 Schedule
 How It Works
 Structure of an Argument
 Questions
The Basics: What Is It?
 Oral advocacy is the chance for you to win over the
 Motivate the Court to decide in your favor
 Demonstrate the strength of your position
 Resolve questions and concerns
The Basics: Why Do It?
 Build confidence
 Learn how to simplify complex legal arguments effectively
 Set yourself apart
 “Moot court or journal preferred”
 Improve writing and public speaking skills
 Build relationships with fellow students and with faculty
 Participate in interscholastic competitions
 It’s fun!
Hardt Cup Format: Round 1
 Round 1: March 18 – March 19, March 21 – 22
Everyone competes (that means you!)
2 arguments, 1 night: one as appellant, one as appellee
Compete against people in your LARW section
2-judge panels
Judges are 2L and 3L students on the Moot Court
 10 minute argument for each side (including 1-2 minute
Hardt Cup Format: Round 2
Round 2: March 25 – March 28
Voluntary (deadline to register is 11:59 p.m. on March 22)
Same parameters
Email [email protected] with name and preferred email address
Sign-up in person at Hardt Cup Table during Round 1
Student judges
1 argument on each side
New case
 Materials provided via email 48 hours in advance (Case + 4-5 other cases to use
in building your argument)
 Limited Universe: you can only use the material provided and cannot consult
anyone else
 4-6 hours to prepare (don’t skip class!)
Following Round 2, the top 40% of the 1L class will be invited to move on to
Round 3
Hardt Cup Format: Round 3
 Round 3: April 1 – April 3
 If you move on to Round 3, you must compete
 New case (but same parameters as in Round 2)
 Board Invitations & Quarterfinals
 10% of 1L class will be invited to join the Moot Court
 Top 8 competitors will move on to Quarterfinals
Hardt Cup Format: Final
 Quarterfinals: April 4
 Semifinals: April 5
 Finals: April 8
 Same problem as Round 3 for all subsequent rounds
Panel of 3 faculty judges for quarterfinal/semifinal rounds
Panel of 3 federal appellate judges for final round
15 minute arguments (1-2 minute rebuttal)
Same rules apply – limited universe, no outside help, no
skipping class
How It Works: Scoring
Remember: Moot Court is a competition, a game.
Score Sheet available on Hardt Cup website
20 points possible for each argument
10 for style
Clarity of presentation
Responsiveness to questions
Use of appropriate formalities
Presence of verbal tics
10 for substance
Command of fact pattern
Well-supported, reasoned claims
Knowledge and understanding of relevant law
Substantively correct answers to questions
How It Works: Structure
 Each side gets 10 minutes
 Appellant/Petitioner begins
 May reserve 1-2 minutes for rebuttal (1 is recommended)
 If you end early, you may reserve the remaining time for
your rebuttal
 Appellee/Respondent
 No surrebuttal
 If you end early, you may yield remaining time back to the
 Appellant/Petitioner Rebuts
 Focus on 1 (maybe 2) issues for your rebuttal
 1 minute goes fast – keep it simple
How It Works: Before Your
 If the room is occupied, knock once and wait for the room to clear
 If the judges have left when competitors enter the room, competitors
should wait for the judges to knock on the door and re-enter
 When judges enter the room, both competitors must stand
 Judges will often handle paperwork beforehand
Score sheet information
Rebuttal time
 After formalities have concluded, the judges will signal the
appellant/petitioner to approach the lectern and begin
How It Works: Your Argument
 Introduction
 Roadmap
 (Facts)
 Issue One
 Issue Two
 Conclusion
 Rebuttal (Appellant/Petitioner only)
Introduction: “May it please
the court…”
 Federal Circuit Court (Rounds 1 & 2)
“May it please the court, my name is Thurgood Marshall, counsel for the
Appellant, Oliver L. Brown.”
Address judges as “Judge Posner” or “Your Honor”
 United States Supreme Court (Round 3)
“Mister/Madam Chief Justice, and may it please the court, my name is
Thurgood Marshall, counsel for the Petitioner, Oliver L. Brown.”
Address justices as “Justice Kagan” or “Your Honor”
Introduction: Rebuttal
 After addressing the court and introducing yourself, it’s
time to ask for rebuttal
 “With the court’s permission, I would like to reserve 1
minute for rebuttal.”
Framing Your Argument
 This is your chance to shape the issues in your favor and is one of the
most important elements of your presentation
“This case is about the inherent inequality of segregated school systems,
which stamp a badge of inferiority upon minority children.”
“This case is about the principles of federalism and stare decisis, which
counsel this court to affirm its precedent in Plessy v. Ferguson, allowing
states to operate separate facilities of equal condition.”
 Remember: the judge is less familiar with the case than you are. The
framework orients him or her in the area of law at issue.
 Be specific, be persuasive
Don’t say this case is about “justice, fairness, and equality under the
Prayer for Relief & Roadmap
 After framing the issues, it’s time to tell the court what
you want and why
 “This court should REVERSE/AFFIRM the lower
court and hold that the Kansas statute is
unconstitutional for two main reasons:
 “First, because segregated schools can never be equal;
 “Second, because segregated schools violate the equal
protection clause of the 14th Amendment.”
 If you are Appellant/Petitioner, be prepared to recite the facts to
the judges
 “Would the court care for a brief recitation of the facts?”
 Most judges will say “no”
 Keep it short & simple
 No more than 30 seconds
 Don’t tell the judges everything that happened – they’ve read the
record; just tell them about the 2-3 most important facts (this
should help frame your side)
 Appellee/Respondent
 Only offer facts if Appellant/Petitioner made serious errors with
LEGAL significance
Start with a thesis (like your opening, but with more detail)
Substance of your argument
Detail for 3-4 minutes
Apply facts
Utilize the case law
Transition to the second point
“First, schools separated on the basis of race can never be equal because
segregation ingrains in minority children a deeply harmful sense of inferiority.”
“Second, segregated school systems violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th
Amendment as articulated by this court in Bolling v. Sharpe.”
This mirrors the structure of your appellate brief!
During Rounds 1, 2, & 3
One of the judges will keep time
He or she will hold up a card at 5 minutes (“5”), 1 minute (“1”), and at the conclusion
of your time (“Stop”)
 If the “Stop” sign is raised while you are still speaking, stop speaking and ask for
permission to conclude
If you are in the middle of a statement, ask, “Your honor, I see that my time has
expired. May I briefly conclude?”
If a judge has asked you a question, ask, “Your honor, I see that my time has expired.
May I answer your question and briefly conclude?”
 Answer as quickly as possible and wrap up
You will be docked points for dragging this out
During the final rounds a bailiff will keep time
Look at the bailiff to acknowledge the timecard but do not nod or thank him (this is
distracting to the panel)
 If you see 1 minute remaining, try to move to your concise
There is no need to ask permission to do this
Incorporate your legal conclusions into the result you seek:
 “Thus, segregated school systems are unconstitutional regardless of
the quality of the buildings and comparability of the teachers’ salaries.
It is the inherent inequality of the separation itself which violates the
mandate of the 14th Amendment. For these reasons, this court should
reverse the court below and hold that the Kansas statute is
unconstitutional. Thank you.”
 If your time elapses, ask to briefly conclude with a short statement:
ONE SENTENCE – “For the foregoing reasons, this court should
REVERSE/AFFIRM the holding of the court below. Thank you.”
 Your conclusion = your prayer for relief!
 This is the Achilles’ Heel of many oralists
 For the Hardt Cup, 1-2 minutes (1 recommended)
 Keep it simple: focus on the main issue
 Begin with: “May it please the court, [Appellee argues…]”
 Respond to major legal flaws or implications of the Appellee’s
 Prepare responses, but be responsive to the judges’ questions
and the points Appellee makes in the argument
Answering Questions (I)
 It is important to prepare your argument thoroughly but in most
cases, you will spend the majority of your time engaging the
judges by responding to their questions
 At its heart, oral advocacy is a conversation with the court – be
responsive to the judges’ questions and concerns
 Do not say, “I’ll answer that later in my argument”
 Part of the skill set is the ability to answer a question directly and
then circle back to the points you want to make
 Begin your answer with “Yes” or “No” whenever possible
 Don’t be evasive: know what you can concede and do not be
afraid to do so (judges are testing the limits of your argument)
Answering Questions (II)
 You only have 10 minutes, so be concise with every
 Make fluid transitions from answering questions to
your argument
 Ask for clarification if you do not understand a
 One trick is to say, “As I understand your question,
Justice Scalia . . .” and then restate the question
 This buys you time to think of an answer if needed
Speaking to the Court
 Be deferential
 Judges will interrupt you whenever they want
 If a judge begins, STOP – don’t speak over a judge
 Judges can be belligerent; they are testing your
composure, so remain cool and confident
 Address the judges by name: “Yes, Judge Easterbrook,
the case can be distinguished”
 You can also address them as “Your honor”
 Wait until the panel is ready to begin your argument
Speaking About Your
 Be polite
 “Opposing Counsel…”
 “Appellee/Respondent characterizes this case as…”
 Do not accuse your opponent of lying
 Do not attack your opponent personally
Standing at the Lectern
 You want the court to focus on your argument, not you
 Stand up straight
 Be steady (do not shift your weight so often that it becomes
 Keep your hands at the sides of the lectern and do not lean
on the lectern
 Hand gestures are acceptable for emphasis but should be
used sparingly so as not to be distracting
Presentation Style
Be confident!
Maintain eye contact when possible
Speak clearly and slowly
Speak naturally
Speak respectfully (this is a formal presentation)
When responding to a judge’s question, make eye contact with the entire panel
Hold eye contact with a judge for a few sentences, then move to the next judge
Don’t read your argument!
You should have your opening and conclusion MEMORIZED
Refer to notes only if needed
Don’t script your argument – prepare an outline/bullet points with relevant case
law to cite
How to Prepare (I)
 Practice explaining your case out loud in simple terms
Practice saying your Introduction and Conclusion aloud.
 Focus on making positive points for your side rather than ranting
about why the other side is wrong
 Outline your argument (1-2 pages)
Keep it simple
Keep this outline in your folder and refer to it as needed. Try not to look
down if you can avoid it.
 This is a conversation, not a speech!
 Anticipate questions and prepare responses
How to Prepare (II)
 Use the cases!
 Cite cases to build your interpretation of the law
 Use the cases to make comparisons and analogies
 Refer to cases by name. “As the 4th Circuit held in Pittman v.
Hardt . . .”
 When referring to precedent in the sitting court, say, “As
THIS COURT held in Duke v. Vandenberg . . .”
 Say the full name of the case the first time, then the shortened
version throughout the remainder of your argument (“Pittman
directly addressed this issue”)
 Relax and have fun!
What to Bring Up With
 Folder with 1-2 page outline of your argument
 Big font!
 Bullet Points
 Avoid writing full sentences. You will end up reading from your
paper instead of engaging with the judges.
 Ideas:
Table of Authorities from Appellate Brief
Short case summaries with key facts
List of facts from your case
Don’t worry too much about cites to the record. Just know your
 Roman numerals/numbers to keep your bearings if you get lost!
 Business formal attire
 Dark suit, dress shirt, dress shoes (tie for guys)
 Keep your hair out of your face/eyes
 Again, you want to be remembered for your
argument, not your rad, hot-pink Converses and
yellow Wayfarers
 Hardt Cup Website:
 Talk to us (Doug Hollins, Jules Mugema, Zi-Xiang
 [email protected]
 Skills Session: Tuesday, March 5 at 12:15pm (Room

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