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Hardt Cup CoordinatorsHardt Cup Coordinators Chris Girouard Zharna Shah Philip Tarpley

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Presentation on theme: "Hardt Cup CoordinatorsHardt Cup Coordinators Chris Girouard Zharna Shah Philip Tarpley"— Presentation transcript:


2 Hardt Cup CoordinatorsHardt Cup Coordinators Chris Girouard Zharna Shah Philip Tarpley

3 What is Moot Court?What is Moot Court? Moot Court is appellate advocacy No histrionics – you stand at a podium Professional style Quality, depth, and structure of legal argument

4 What is the Moot Court Board? Duke Laws Moot Court Team ~10% of Each Class How to get on: Hardt Cup (1L only) Deans Cup (2L + 3L only) Jessup Cup (International Law, entire school)

5 Why Join the Board?Why Join the Board? 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 Its fun!


7 The Hardt CupThe Hardt Cup 1L Tournament The entire class must compete in the first round Your choice to remain in the tournament after Round 1 (you opt in to all later rounds). Your first chance to engage in appellate advocacy First opportunity to join the Moot Court Board if you opt into Round 2

8 Hardt Cup Format: Round 1Hardt Cup Format: Round 1 Round 1: Wednesday, March 26 – Saturday, March 28 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 Board 10 minute argument for each side (including 1-2 minute rebuttal for Appellant)

9 Hardt Cup Format: Opt InHardt Cup Format: Opt In Voluntary After Round 1 We hope you sign up to remain in the tournament, but participation is optional after Round 1 Procedure Follow this link to sign up Once you opt into Round 2, you are committed to arguing every round until you are eliminated Be careful not to miss your deadline – no exceptions!

10 Opt-In DeadlinesOpt-In Deadlines Friday, March 28 (10pm) Section 1 (Dimond) Section 2 (Reeves) Section 4 (Mock) Section 5 (Ragazzo) Section 6 (Rich) Saturday, March 29 (10pm) Section 3 (Mullem) Section 7 (Powell) Section 8 (Baker)

11 Hardt Cup Format: Round 2Hardt Cup Format: Round 2 Round 2: Monday, March 31 – Tuesday, April 1 Same parameters Student judges 1 argument on each side (2 arguments total) 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 (dont skip class!) Following Round 2, the top 64 competitors will be invited to move on to Round 3

12 Hardt Cup Format: Round 3,Hardt Cup Format: Round 3, Round 3: Friday, April 4 If you move on to Round 3, you must compete Same case, different legal problem Following Round 3, the top 10% of the first-year class will be invited to join the Moot Court Board

13 Octofinals, Quarterfinals, SemifinalsOctofinals, Quarterfinals, Semifinals Octofinals: Sunday, April 6 Top 16 competitors will move on to Octofinals Judged by panel of three Moot Court Board members Quarterfinals: Monday, April 7 Top 8 competitors Judged by law professors 15 minute arguments per side Semifinals: Monday, April 7 Top 4 competitors Judged by practitioners 15 minute arguments per side

14 Hardt Cup Format: Final Round Finals: Wednesday, April 9 Panel of 3 prestigious federal/state judges Its the real deal – and great experience 15 minute arguments (2-3 minute rebuttal) Same rules apply – limited universe, no outside help, no skipping class

15 Board InvitationsBoard Invitations Top 10% of 1L Class will get an invitation to join the board from the Hardt Cup ~ Top 21 competitors Performance is on an individual basis If you dont make it, you can try again as a 2L in: The Jessup Cup (in the fall) The Deans Cup (starts in fall, ends in spring)


17 Parties In Federal Circuit Court Appellant (the party appealing) vs. The Appellee (the one who won below) In the Supreme Court: Petitioner (the one appealing) vs. The Respondent (the one who won below)

18 How It Works: Before Your Round 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

19 How It Works: StructureHow 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 Rebuttal – use all 10 minutes in one go Appellant/Petitioner Rebuts Focus on 1 (maybe 2) issues for your rebuttal 1-2 minutes runs quickly – keep it simple and to the point

20 How It WorksHow It Works Moot Court is a competition Scoring : 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

21 How It Works: Your ArgumentHow It Works: Your Argument Introduction Roadmap (Facts) Issue One Issue Two Conclusion Rebuttal (Appellant/Petitioner only)

22 Basic Argument StructureBasic Argument Structure Introduction: Circuit Court May it please the Court, my name is ______ counsel for the ______ (Appellant/Appellee), _______ (their name). Address judges as Judge Posner or Your Honor Supreme Court Mister/Madam Chief Justice, and may it please the Court, my name is ______ counsel for the ______ (Petitioner/Respondent), _______ (their name). Address justices as Justice Kagan or Your Honor Rebuttal (Appellant/Petitioner Only): With the Courts permission, I would like to reserve __ (1-2) minutes for rebuttal.

23 Basic Argument StructureBasic Argument Structure Theme: Your Honor, this case is about ____ (theme). Something that catches their ear. Sum up the case into a few words – very powerful. Prayer for relief and roadmap: This Court should _____ (affirm/reverse) the lower court, and hold that _______ for ____ (number) main reasons: First, ___________, Second, __________, and Third, ______________. Short phrases – think topic sentences: Ex: First, because justice demands it. Second, because of this Courts holding in Smith v. Taylor. And third, because I said so.

24 Basic Argument StructureBasic Argument Structure Facts (Appellant/Petitioner only): Would the court care for a brief recitation of the facts? Most judges will say no If the judge says yes, keep it short & simple Appellee/Respondent only offers facts if Appellant/Petitioner made serious errors with LEGAL significance Argument: Start with a thesis (like your opening, but with more detail) Apply facts, utilize case law Transition to your next point Do your best to follow your argument (go through point 1, then 2, then 3) but answer the judges questions This mirrors the structure of your appellate brief!

25 Basic Argument StructureBasic Argument Structure Conclusion: If you see 1 minute remaining, try to move to your concise conclusion There is no need to ask permission to do this Incorporate your legal conclusions into the result you seek: Thus, _____ (short summary of point 1). _____ (short summary of point 2), and because _______ (short summary of point 3), this Court should _______ (affirm/reverse) the lower courts decision and hold that _______. Thank You. If you dont have time: For the foregoing reasons, this Court should _______ (affirm/reverse) the holding of the court below. Thank You.

26 Answering QuestionsAnswering Questions Conversational tone Be respectful Begin your answer with Yes, your honor or No, your honor before getting to your answer. Be concise with every answer, you only have 10 minutes Do not say, Ill answer that later in my argument Transition back to your argument: Yes, Your Honor... _________ (answer the question), and, as you can see, your question actually goes to my second point... Be smooth

27 Timekeeping 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)


29 Presentation StylePresentation Style Be confident! Speak clearly and slowly Speak naturally Speak respectfully (this is a formal presentation) Maintain eye contact when possible When responding to a judges question, make eye contact with the entire panel Hold eye contact with a judge for a few sentences, then move to the next judge Dont read your argument! You should have your opening and conclusion MEMORIZED Refer to notes only if needed Dont script your argument – prepare an outline/bullet points with relevant case law to cite

30 Speaking to the CourtSpeaking to the Court Be deferential Judges will interrupt you whenever they want If a judge begins, STOP – dont 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 In the Supreme Court, Justice Kagan/Mister Chief Justice Wait until the panel is ready to begin your argument

31 Speaking About Your Opponent Never speak to your opponent. Only address the Court Be polite Opposing Counsel… Appellee/Respondent characterizes this case as… Do not accuse your opponent of lying Do not attack your opponent personally

32 Standing at the LecternStanding 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 distracting) 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


34 How to Prepare (I)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

35 How to Prepare (II)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 4 th 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)

36 What to Bring Up With You 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 Dont worry too much about cites to the record. Just know your facts Roman numerals/numbers to keep your bearings if you get lost!

37 Attire Business formal attire Dark suit, dress shirt, dress shoes (tie for guys) Keep your hair out of your face/eyes This is not time to show off your newest fashion. You want to be remembered for your argument, not your rad, hot-pink Converses and yellow Wayfarers


39 Honor CodeHonor Code Duke Law takes the Hardt Cup very seriously Hardt Cup is part of your LARW grade Be on time! You are responsible for your schedule. If you dont show up, your competitor cant compete If you miss a first round argument, LARW trouble If you miss a later round, slim chances of making board DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE CASE TO OTHER PEOPLE.

40 Calm DownCalm Down Deep breaths If you put in the work, you will do finereally. Youll find that this is a lot of fun Do not miss class for this.

41 Questions? Moot Court Skills Sessions! Tuesday, March 18 @ 3:00 PM, 3041 Tuesday, March 25 @ 3:00 PM, 3041 Talk to Zharna, Chris, or Phil in the hall Email us at

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