MOOT COURT BYLAWS
ARTICLE I. - Mission Statement of the Moot Court
The Moot Court Board (The Board) exists to develop each individual member's potential in written and oral advocacy, to represent Georgia State University College of Law (College of Law) successfully in moot court competitions, and to enhance each individual member's educational experience in law school.
ARTICLE II. - Board Selection
1. Eligibility of Prospective Board Members
a. Prospective Board Members shall have successfully completed Legal Bibliography and RWA. Successful completion shall be deemed to be a grade of PASS in Legal Bibliography and EITHER an overall average of 2.7 (B-) or higher in RWA OR a 3.0 (B) or higher in the second semester of RWA. In the case of transfer students, acceptance of coursework equivalent to Legal Bibliography and RWA by the College of Law for transfer credit shall be conclusive evidence of successful completion and shall satisfy this requirement.
b. Potential Board Members shall be required to have achieved an overall grade point average of 2.7 (B-) or higher by the completion of their first year of law school.
2. Moot Court Candidates
Board Members shall be chosen by one of two methods:
a. Invitation to join Moot Court pursuant to Section 3 of this article or
b. Selection based on performance in the Summer Appellate Advocacy Tournament pursuant to Section 4 of this article.
Acceptance of an invitation to participate on the Moot Court Board requires an affirmative commitment by the student as defined in Article III, Section 5(a) of these bylaws. In addition, the student must fulfill any obligations enumerated in these bylaws.
3. Moot Court Invitees
At the completion of the spring semester of RWA, eight (8) students shall be invited to join Moot Court as Invitees.
a. “Grade-On” Invitees: The four (4) students with the highest grades in RWA, determined through a combination of brief and oral argument scores and excluding those students invited to join pursuant to subsection b of this Section, shall be invited to join The Board. The brief score shall account for forty percent (40%) and the oral argument score for the remaining sixty percent (60%) of a student’s combined score.
i. The brief score will be assessed by the faculty head of the RWA program.
ii. The oral argument scores shall be derived from the combined scores of the Preliminary rounds of the oral argument phase of RWA.
iii. The four (4) “Grade-On” Invitees will be extended an invitation by the President of the Moot Court Board after final grades are submitted by the RWA professors.
b. “Argue-On” Invitees: Additionally, the four (4) finalists from the oral argument portion of the RWA Appellate Advocacy Tournament will be invited to join Moot Court as Invitees.
c. All invitations will be extended by the President via mail or email and all invitations must be accepted or declined within two (2) weeks of receipt of an invitation.
d. In the event that any of the invitations are declined, no further invitations will be extended.
e. Upon acceptance of an invitation, an invitee is considered a Board Member.
4. Summer Appellate Advocacy Tournament
Students who meet all eligibility requirements set forth in Section 1 of this article, who were not invited to join The Board pursuant to Section 3 of this Article, and who, in good faith, believe they can successfully execute the commitments and satisfy the requirements set forth in Article III, Section 5, may try out for The Board by competing in the Summer Appellate Advocacy Tournament (Tournament). The Tournament shall consist of both brief writing and oral argument components, to be based upon a problem selected by the Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy and approved by the President. The format of the competition shall comport with the following provisions:
a. The Brief Writing Component:
i. The problem will be made available to eligible students via the internet, and competitors may download the problem on a date deemed appropriate by the Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy;
ii. Students will have at least two (2) weeks from the start date of the Tournament to submit their completed brief, but must comply with all deadlines and time parameters set by the Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy;
iii. Students are not required to download the problem as soon as it is available. However, each competitor’s brief must be turned in by the Due Date, regardless of the date the competitor downloaded the problem;
iv. The Due Date shall be set by the Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy at a date deemed appropriate.
b. The Oral Argument Component:
i. The oral argument component of the Tournament shall consist of two rounds, one “on-brief” and one “off-brief”;
ii. The oral argument rounds shall commence no sooner than one week after the Due Date for briefs;
c. Grading: Moot Court Board Members shall grade all briefs and serve as judges for the oral argument rounds of the Tournament. Former Board Members, who graduated within two years of the start date of the Tournament, may also serve as oral argument judges. The Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy will provide the Board Members with guidelines for scoring both components of the Tournament. Competitors will be ranked based on their combined brief and oral argument scores. Selection of new board members shall be based upon this ranking. The Executive Board shall determine the total number of new Board Members selected from the Tournament.
d. Additional Educational Resources: The Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy and the Executive Committee shall make available or suggest to all competitors appropriate resources by which the competitors may further develop their appellate advocacy skills. Such resources may include, but are not limited to:
i. Video taped or live seminars on written and/or oral advocacy;
ii. Recommended texts on written and/or oral advocacy;
iii. Case Counselors: Current Moot Court Board Members who may serve as mentors for competitors during the Tournament.
e. Requirements Satisfaction: Each competitor has a duty to ensure his or her compliance with the requirements specified in Article II, Section 1 upon the posting of relevant grades. Failure to satisfy these requirements without withdrawing from the tournament is dishonest and may result in a violation of the Honor Code. The Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy are responsible for ensuring that every competitor signifies his or her compliance with Article II, Section 1 by physical or electronic verification to the following statement prior to receipt of competition materials:
"I have read and understand the requirements of Article II, Section 1 of the Moot Court Bylaws. I understand that it is my duty to ensure that I meet these requirements. If the grades specified in Article II, Section 1 have not been posted prior to the competition's commencement, I will ensure my satisfaction of the requirements as soon as practicable. If I do not meet these requirements, I understand that if I do not withdraw from the competition, I may be subjected to discipline under the Honor Code."
Article III. - Responsibilities of Moot Court Board Members
1. Executive Committee
Moot Court shall be governed by an Executive Committee consisting of the nine elected officers described in Section 4 of this Article. The President shall serve as chairman of the Executive Committee and each officer shall have a single vote. The President shall only vote in the event of a tie among the Executive Committee officers.
Board Members shall elect officers for the incoming Executive Committee by vote of a simple majority of those casting ballots, provided that at least two-thirds of the Board Members are present. The election will be held no later than the first week of March. The outgoing president shall provide notice of the opening of nominations at least one week before the election.
Newly elected officers shall work with their outgoing counterparts until an Executive Committee meeting scheduled at or around the first week of April. Following the Executive Committee meeting, the newly elected officers will officially begin serving their term and serve until at or around the first week in April of the following year.
During this transition period, each outgoing officer shall (1) provide the newly elected officer with their respective Guidebook updated appropriately; and (2) meet with the newly elected officer at least once to discuss the contents of the Guidebook.
The President shall be responsible for the overall administration of both the Summer Appellate Advocacy Tournament and Moot Court Competition Team components. The President shall also be responsible for acting as a liaison between the Board and the College of Law faculty and administration. This officer shall:
i. Act as chairman of the Executive Committee, casting a vote on that committee only in the case of a tie;
ii. Select competition teams along with the Vice President of Moot Court and the Vice President of Competitions subject to Executive Committee approval;
iii. Appoint Board members to any and all vacant officer positions subject to Executive Committee approval;
iv. Work with the Vice President of Treasury as well as the College of Law administrative staff to ensure the Board meets its fiscal responsibility;
v. Monitor Board member activities to ensure the smooth functioning of Competition Teams;
vi. Work with the Vice President of Communications to foster alumni relations;
vii. Work with the Moot Court Faculty Advisor to ensure good relations with the College of Law faculty;
viii. Provide recommendations to the Moot Court Faculty Advisor regarding the appropriate awarding of academic credit to program participants;
ix. Appear before the faculty at the beginning of each semester, along with the Vice President of Competitions, to present the schedule of competitions and seek faculty member support;
x. Take any action necessary that is in the best interest and furtherance of the stated goals of the Board;
xi. Update and maintain Guidebook.
b. Vice President of Moot Court
The Vice President of Moot Court shall be responsible for assisting all other officers in performance of their duties. This officer shall:
i. Select competition teams along with the President and the Vice President of Competitions subject to Executive Committee approval;
ii. Assist the President in performing his/her duties when the President is engaged in a competition or otherwise cannot achieve the goals of the office;
iii. Coordinate a trip to an Atlanta-based appellate court each Fall and/or Spring semester and ensure all Moot Court I or II students attend (the trip should be open to and optional for all other Board Members);
iv. Coordinate and schedule at least one (1) appellate advocacy training each semester and ensure all Moot Court I and II students attend (the trainings should be open to and optional for all other Board Members);
v. Select the five-member disciplinary panel, pursuant to Article VI with the assistance of the Executive Committee;
vi. Ensure that all Board Members are present at all Board meetings;
1. Board Members who are unable to attend scheduled meetings must present a valid excuse;
2. The validity of the excuse will be determined by this officer, subject to Executive Committee approval.
vii. For minor infractions, as enumerated in Article VI, Section 1(a)(v), assign additional responsibilities to a member such as benching additional practice rounds for teams preparing for competition in order to provide that member with another opportunity to satisfy his or her semester responsibilities;
viii. Be responsible for the administration of Moot Court elections pursuant to Section 2 of this Article;
ix. Assume the duties of the President should the President be unable to perform his/her duties for any reason;
x. Update and maintain Guidebook.
c. Vice President of Appellate Advocacy
Two (2) Board members will serve as Vice President of Appellate Advocacy.
The Vice Presidents of Appellate Advocacy are responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Summer Appellate Advocacy Tournament, to comport with the format enumerated in Article II. These officers shall:
i. Develop the research problems to be used for the Tournament;
ii. Establish deadlines for submission of appellate briefs pursuant to the limitations enumerated in Article II, Section 4;
iii. Assign current Board Members to be Case Counselors to prospective Moot Court members competing in the Tournament;
iv. Provide for additional educational resources pursuant to Article II, Section 4(d);