September 25, 2011
The 2011 Moot Court Summer Competition was a great success. Following the preparation and submission of briefs over the summer, the Summer Competition culminated in the presentation of oral arguments on Saturday September 17th, 2011. The problem involved a charge against a graduate student who, as part of a thesis on society’s treatment of human sexuality and youth, photographed a young man who presented identification indicating that was an adult when in fact he was sixteen years old. The graduate student was convicted of producing child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a).
The Questions Presented were:
I. Whether the First Amendment requires an affirmative defense of reasonable mistake of age to a charge under 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) for production of child pornography; and
II. Whether a condition of supervised release banning “any form of pornographic material” is unconstitutional, for overbreadth, in violation of the First Amendment, or vagueness, in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
The oral argument component consisted of two preliminary rounds in which each team argued on and off brief before three-judge panels. The competition culminated in a final round presided over by Supreme Court Justices Michelle Anderson, Babe Howell, and Aaron Amaral.
The winning teams in the final round were:
First Place – Team 28: Amy Robinson Oost and Coco Joly
Second Place – Team 16 : Madeline Porta and Alexandra Smith
Best Oralist (Final Round): Madeline Porta
Best Oralist (Preliminary Rounds): Bedel Tiscareno
In addition, feedback from judges in all of the rounds consistently noted that the student participants were poised, well prepared, and very impressive. Participants said that the experience was “intense”, the problem was interesting, the competition was fun, and they were glad that they put in all of the work to complete it.
The success of the Moot Court Summer Competition is due in great part not only to the hard work and excellent planning of the Moot Court Board but also to the invaluable assistance of so many faculty colleagues who helped by scoring briefs over the summer and participating as oral argument judges during the competition and as last minute make-up argument judges last Thursday. These include:
Brief scorers: Sue Bryant, Pamela Edwards, Raquel Gabriel, Julie Goldscheid, Babe Howell, Florence Kerner, Sarah Lamdan, Donna Lee, Julie Lim, Shirley Lung, Susan Markus, Andrea McArdle, David Nadvorney, Sarah Valentine, and Steve Zeidman
Make up argument judges: Caitlin Borgmann, Angela Burton, and Florence Kerner
Oral argument judges on the day of the Competition:
Michelle Anderson, Raquel Gabriel, Babe Howell, Donna Lee, Sarah Valentine
Also, special thanks to Jeff Kirchmeier who provided invaluable guidance and help and who has set up systems to ensure that the Summer Competition runs smoothly and improves from year to year.
Many alums and friends of the law school participated as oral argument judges, including: Sarah Lazare, Michael Shaw, Andrew Barnes, Kenneth Barocas, James Barron, Bridgette Bissonette, Jeffrey Brooks, Lewis Creekmore, Sebastian Riccardi, Reka Bala, Joel Serrano, Geoffrey Bickford, Marika Gupta, Tracey Sabbah, Kendra Hutchinson, Kimberly Tate-Brown, Peter Shulman, Judge William Harrington, and Julie Milner.
And of course, kudos to the Moot Court Board, particularly Summer Competition coordinator Renee Smith (and summer competition committee members Megan Luzier and Alexandra Winter), President Golden McCarthy, Vice President, Jacob Agron, Secretary Eric Washer, and Treasurer Philip Grommet.
All members of moot court engaged and participated actively, making this a true team effort. In addition, several 1Ls participated as bailiffs and timekeepers (even though they had a writing assignment due the following Monday).
Finally, and most importantly, congratulations to the student participants who successfully completed the 2011 Summer Competition to become members of the Moot Court Board: Andrew Adams, Oluwatosin Ademuwagen, Noor Ahmad, Marlowe Boettcher, Breanne Chappell, Eugene Chen, Maria Dyson, Nicholas Easterday, Rinerys Garcia, Robin Gordon Leavitt, Anna Hwang, Kimberly James, Coco Joly, Sabina Khan, Gaby Lopez, Marry Murray, Kellyn Nagel, Angela Navarro, Amy Oost, Lauri Partin, Lesa Pascal, Madeline Porta, Phillip Raymond, Katie Redmon, Sarika Saxena, Alexandra Smith, Joanna Bryn Smith, and Bedel Tiscareno.