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Spring 2018 Competition Teams will start having practices January 2018.

Upcoming Practices

DATE AND TIME TEAM ROOM JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE
Mon. February 19
10:00AM - 11:30AM Cardozo Tower 412 Adam Arce
10:00AM - 11:30AM Maritime Team K Tower 404
11:00AM - 1:00PM Child Welfare and Adoption Lib 640
11:00AM - 1:00PM Prince Evidence School Holiday-TBD
11:30AM - 1:00PM Cardozo Tower 412 Bekah Young

See all 210 upcoming practices

Teams

Carson Riley, Tanya Sanderson, Rachel Steyer, Nolan Theurer & Tammy Su

1. Whether the arbitral award of 2 March 2017 is valid;

2. Whether there was a violation of Article 6 of the FCN Treaty when the Egart operated in Anduchenca's territorial sea, and whether Adduchenca violated Article 7 of the FCN Treaty when it caputred the Egart;

3. Whether Anduchenca violated Article 16 of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation by commissioning and operating the Ibra;

4. Whether Rukaruku violated Article 17 of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation when it attacked the Covfefe and captured the Ibra.

Last practice February 20.

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Jordan Greenberg, Jackson Stogner, Kelsi Lerner

Description: 

The New Dallas School Board changed its policy on transgender students' access to bathrooms based on a letter written by the Secretary of Education  stating that all students must use shared facilities (including restrooms) consistent with the gender stated on a student’s birth certificate. The school district notified students and parents about their new policy. Upon receiving notification of the School Board’s new policy, A.B. filed suit against the Board in federal district court based on claims of discrimination against her for her transgender status in violation of Title IX.  A.B. asserted that the Lewis Letter is entitled to no judicial deference, and that Title IX prohibits schools from restricting bathroom access to transgender students.  

Despite her argument, the lower court found for the defendant School Board.  A.B. filed a timely appeal, and the 13th Circuit Court of Appeals also found for the School Board. A.B. now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Questions Presented: 

  1. Is the Lewis Letter, issued by U.S. Department of Education in 2017, entitled to judicial deference, and if so, which level of deference is proper?
  2. With or without deference to the Lewis Letter, does Title IX require that federally funded schools allow students to access restrooms consistent with their gender identity?

Last practice February 27.

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Jennifer Bentley, Will Hanley, and Joe Dietrich

This year's NAAC problem involves the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to investigations, arrests, and non-custodial police interviews of persons with mental illness. Petitioner Carson City is appealing the Thirteenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to reverse the trial court’s order granting Carson City’s Motion for Summary Judgment on all of Respondents claims under Title II of the ADA.

QUESTIONS PRESENTED:

  1. Whether Title II of the ADA authorizes a claim against a municipal entity based on the failure of law enforcement officers to modify standard on-the-ground investigation and arrest procedures when confronting an individual with known mental illness and neurological impairment.

  2. Whether Title II of the ADA requires a municipal entity to make modifications to its interview procedures when doing a non-custodial stationhouse interview of an individual with a known mental illness and cognitive impairment.

Last practice February 27.

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Lauren Marshall, Victoria Fennessy, Caroline Lavenue

 Bench memo available here: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1acdbz0W1ZMnLsJ6fHtf8tdxAE8nmNdrP/view?usp=sharing

Description:

Section 301 of the Clean Water Act generally bans discharging pollution into America's waterways. A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit allows certain discharges, as long as the permit holder uses required technologies to reasonably limit pollution.  EnerProg operates a coal-fired power plant along Fossil Creek, located in the fictional State of Progress.  The power plant discharges coal waste into a holding pond ("ash pond"), and over time water from the pond is released into the adjacent Moutard Reservoir. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a NPDES permit to EnerProg to continue operating the ash pond, until it's closure in 2020. EnerProg challenges the permit as overly restrictive, especially in light of recent deragulation at the EPA following Donald Trump's election.  Fossil Creek Watchers, an environmental group, argues that the permit is too lenient and allows excessive pollution.

Issues:

1) Whether the final federal NPDES permit properly included state conditions requiring closure of the coal ash pond.

2) Whether the Trump Administration's April 25, 2017 EPA Notice suspending compliance deadlines for the Obama Administration's 2015 Final Effluent Limitation Guidelines for the Steam Electric Power Generating Industry effectively allows EnerProg to avoid the Obama era requirements to stop discharging coal ash.

3) Whether EPA Region XII could rely on Best Professional Judgment as an alternative ground to require zero discharge by 2020, independent of the 2015 notice.

4) Whether discharges from the factory to the ash pond are correctly exempt from NPDES permitting, in light of EPA's 1980 suspension of a CWA provision that originally required permits for certain waste treatment systems formed by impounding pre-existing "waters of the United States."

5) Whether the eventual ash pond closure and capping also requires a Section 404 "dredge and fill" permit under the CWA. 

 

Last practice February 19.

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Erin Gurewitz, Justin Bargar, and Karen Martinez

This year's problem focuses on how Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to law enforcement activity, specifically arrests and stationhouse interviews. Respondents Chuck Gaines and Brittany Fields, who both suffer from mental illness, seek to affirm the Thirteenth Circuit's decision that Gaines has a triable claim under Title II of the ADA. Additionally, Respondents seek to affirm the decision that law enforcement is required to make reasonable modifications to its interview procedures when it is obvious or known that the interviewee suffers from mental illness or cognitive impairment.

Issues Presented:

I. Whether Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act authorizes a claim against a municipal entity based on the failure of law enforcement officers to modify standard on-the-ground investigation and arrest procedures when confronting an individual with known mental illness and neurological impairment.

II. Whether Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires a municipal entity to make modifications to its interview procedures when doing a non-custodial stationhouse interview of an individual with a known mental illness and cognitive impairment

 

Last practice February 25.

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Brandon Shiener, Debbie Kol

Petitioner Yusuf Badr was born in AlSuria, a fictional Middle Eastern country embroiled in political conflict. AlSuria has been weathering a civil war since 2012, when the FFA, a rebel fighter group, began efforts to oust the sitting AlSuria President, Hassad Basheer. The FFA has taken control over many regions in AlSuria and consistently tries to recruit new members for their cause. Badr was raised in a family that actively spoke in favor of President Basheer. Badr himself spoke out to the media in AlSuria. Following that, Badr was attacked on three separate occasions. After the third attack, he fled to a nearby city, Maken Areeb, that was not controlled by the FFA. There, Badr lived in a group home with other young men and worked as a blacksmith. In mid-2016, Badr fled to the United States upon the death of his father and his separation from all known family. He was stopped by police and referred to the Department of Homeland Security when he was unable to produce papers. 

Both parties contend that the violence Badr faced amounted to persecution, but the parties dispute whether Badr was persecuted on a protected ground and whether he reasonably relocated to a safe area in Maken Areeb.

Issues on appeal:

  1. Whether a nexus exists between Badr’s alleged persecution & a protected ground.

  2. Whether there was sufficient evidence to establish that Badr submitted his application timely, meeting the one year requirement.

Last practice March 1.

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Tamar Burke, Ben Russi

On December 2016, Stewart "Stewie" Griffin brought an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that the State of Quahog's requirements for obtaining a public-carry permit and the State's law prohibiting undocumented aliens from using or possessing firearms contravene the Second Amendment.  Griffin sought injunctive and declaratory relief from the State's laws.  Griffin's complaint named Tom Tucker, in his official capacity as Attorney General for the State of Quahog, as the defendant.  Both of Griffin's claims were dismissed upon Tucker's motion for summary judgment.  On appeal, the Thirteenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the district court as to both claims.

The Supreme Court of the United States certifies the following two questions:

1.) Whether the Second Amendment right to possess and use firearms extends to undocumented aliens living in the United States.  If so, does QUA. STAT. § 11-47-64(b)(3), which broadly prohibits undocumented aliens from possessing any firearm or ammunition, violate that right?

2.) Whether state laws that place onerous restrictions on individuals' ability to carry handguns in public are permissible under the Second Amendment.  If so, is QUA. STAT § 11-47-60 unconstitutional?

Last practice February 26.

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Erin Lanier and Irene Lee

Issue 1: Whether Petitioner “registered” the copyright for the song “Almaniizar” within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) prior to instituting this action?

Issue 2: Under the Copyright Act’s fair use standard, 17 U.S.C. § 107, whether Respondent Fourth Melody’s song “Bought It” was sufficiently transformative to qualify as a parody, and whether non-pecuniary harm to the author is relevant to the analysis of market effects?

Last practice February 28.

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Jillian Kaltner and Miranda Rowley

An employment law competition that combines Maritime Law with Title VII. 

Wagner Questions Presented:

  1. Can a jury award prejudgment interest to an injured seaman when she brings a mixed claim for relief under the Jones Act and general maritime law?
  2. Does Title VII protections against sex discrimination extend to protections to LGBT individuals? 

Last practice March 5.

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Talya Rind and Cathy Roe

Petitioner Yusuf Badr was born in AlSuria, a fictional Middle Eastern country embroiled in political conflict. AlSuria has been weathering a civil war since 2012, when the FFA, a rebel fighter group, began efforts to oust the sitting AlSuria President, Hassad Basheer. The FFA has taken control over many regions in AlSuria and consistently tries to recruit new members for their cause. Badr was raised in a family that actively spoke in favor of President Basheer. Badr himself spoke out to the media in AlSuria. Following that, Badr was attacked on three separate occasions. After the third attack, he fled to a nearby city, Maken Areeb, that was not controlled by the FFA. There, Badr lived in a group home with other young men and worked as a blacksmith. In mid-2016, Badr fled to the United States upon the death of his father and his separation from all known family. He was stopped by police and referred to the Department of Homeland Security when he was unable to produce papers. 

Both parties contend that the violence Badr faced amounted to persecution, but the parties dispute whether Badr was persecuted on a protected ground and whether he reasonably relocated to a safe area in Maken Areeb.

Issues on appeal:

  1. Whether a nexus exists between Badr’s alleged persecution & a protected ground.

  2. Whether there was sufficient evidence to establish that Badr submitted his application timely, meeting the one year requirement.

Last practice March 1.

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Sarah Venit and Megan Bettles

Issues Presented:

I. Did the Court of Appeals of Capitania err in affirming the judgment of the trial court that denied petitioner’s petition for an adjudication of dependency in relation to P.A based off a lack of clear and convincing evidence, when the trial court found that P.A.’s father had abused and neglected P.A. and when the trial court improperly took petitioner’s motive for her petition to the court into account?

II. Did the Court of Appeals of Capitania err in affirming the judgment of the trial court that denied petitioner’s petition for findings in relation to P.A. predicate for a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

Last practice March 4.

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Christopher Orlando & Rebekah Young

Petitioner Yusuf Badr was born in AlSuria, a fictional Middle Eastern country embroiled in political conflict. AlSuria has been weathering a civil war since 2012, when the FFA, a rebel fighter group, began efforts to oust the sitting AlSuria President, Hassad Basheer. The FFA has taken control over many regions in AlSuria and consistently tries to recruit new members for their cause. Badr was raised in a family that actively spoke in favor of President Basheer. Badr himself spoke out to the media in AlSuria. Following that, Badr was attacked on three separate occasions. After the third attack, he fled to a nearby city, Maken Areeb, that was not controlled by the FFA. There, Badr lived in a group home with other young men and worked as a blacksmith. In mid-2016, Badr fled to the United States upon the death of his father and his separation from all known family. He was stopped by police and referred to the Department of Homeland Security when he was unable to produce papers. 

Both parties contend that the violence Badr faced amounted to persecution, but the parties dispute whether Badr was persecuted on a protected ground and whether he reasonably relocated to a safe area in Maken Areeb.

Issues on appeal:

  1. Whether a nexus exists between Badr’s alleged persecution & a protected ground.

  2. Whether there was sufficient evidence to establish that Badr submitted his application timely, meeting the one year requirement.

Last practice February 28.

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Ross Kirkbaumer, Chad Weeks, and Emily Uhlig

This is an action by a seaman, Taras Shevchenko, seeking recovery of compensatory damages from his employer, Carousel Cruise Lines, Inc., for an alleged breach of the warranty of seaworthiness. Carousel owned and operated the vessel aboard which Shevchenko was working when the injury in suit occurred.The case is procedurally complicated by an arbitration decision rejecting Shevchenko’s claim. Carousel sought to enforce the arbitral award, but the district court refused to do so pursuant to the public policy defense in the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

By declining to enforce the arbitral award, the district court was free to reach the merits of the case. On the merits, the district court concluded after a bench trial that Carousel had breached its warranty of seaworthiness and awarded Shevchenko $254,174 in damages. On appeal, Carousel first contends that the district court should have enforced the arbitral award, thus making it unnecessary to reach the merits. If the arbitral award is not enforced, Carousel contends that the district court nevertheless erred in concluding that Shevchenko’s injury was proximately caused by a condition of transitory unseaworthiness rather than by an isolated act of operational negligence. 

Questions Presented: 

I. Whether this Court should enforce the arbitration award in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act and the New York Convention because the public policy exception was intended to protect more fundamental and explicit rights.

II. Whether a misinterpretation of controlling law can render the Glacier Explorer liable for an injury resulting from an isolated act of operational negligence that did not make the vessel unreasonably fit for its intended service.

Last practice March 19.

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Fiona Duffy & Danielle Brown

On December 2016, Stewart "Stewie" Griffin brought an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that the State of Quahog's requirements for obtaining a public-carry permit and the State's law prohibiting undocumented aliens from using or possessing firearms contravene the Second Amendment.  Griffin sought injunctive and declaratory relief from the State's laws.  Griffin's complaint named Tom Tucker, in his official capacity as Attorney General for the State of Quahog, as the defendant.  Both of Griffin's claims were dismissed upon Tucker's motion for summary judgment.  On appeal, the Thirteenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the district court as to both claims.

The Supreme Court of the United States certifies the following two questions:

1.) Whether the Second Amendment right to possess and use firearms extends to undocumented aliens living in the United States.  If so, does QUA. STAT. § 11-47-64(b)(3), which broadly prohibits undocumented aliens from possessing any firearm or ammunition, violate that right?

2.) Whether state laws that place onerous restrictions on individuals' ability to carry handguns in public are permissible under the Second Amendment.  If so, is QUA. STAT § 11-47-60 unconstitutional?

Last practice February 26.

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Adam Arce, Deepti Prabhakar

This is an action by a seaman, Taras Shevchenko, seeking recovery of compensatory damages from his employer, Carousel Cruise Lines, Inc., for an alleged breach of the warranty of seaworthiness. Carousel owned and operated the vessel aboard which Shevchenko was working when the injury in suit occurred.The case is procedurally complicated by an arbitration decision rejecting Shevchenko’s claim. Carousel sought to enforce the arbitral award, but the district court refused to do so pursuant to the public policy defense in the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

By declining to enforce the arbitral award, the district court was free to reach the merits of the case. On the merits, the district court concluded after a bench trial that Carousel had breached its warranty of seaworthiness and awarded Shevchenko $254,174 in damages. On appeal, Carousel first contends that the district court should have enforced the arbitral award, thus making it unnecessary to reach the merits. If the arbitral award is not enforced, Carousel contends that the district court nevertheless erred in concluding that Shevchenko’s injury was proximately caused by a condition of transitory unseaworthiness rather than by an isolated act of operational negligence. 

Questions Presented: 

I. Whether this Court should enforce the arbitration award in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act and the New York Convention because the public policy exception was intended to protect more fundamental and explicit rights.

II. Whether a misinterpretation of controlling law can render the Glacier Explorer liable for an injury resulting from an isolated act of operational negligence that did not make the vessel unreasonably fit for its intended service.

Last practice March 19.

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Mitchell R. VanLandingham & David C. Casarrubias

The certified questions are as follows:

  1. An order of removal entered in absentia may be rescinded upon a motion to reopen if the movant rebuts the slight presumption that he received notice of the removal hearing sent by regular mail. Sicat has submitted sworn affidavits showing that he never received the government’s notices, had no motive to avoid his removal hearing due to his eligibility for an I-130 petition, and had a diligent appearance record at prior hearings.  Did the IJ and the BIA abuse their discretion in concluding that this evidence was insufficient to rebut the slight presumption of effective service for purposes of reopening the proceedings?
  2. In a motion to reopen, a movant need only demonstrate prima facie eligibility for relief upon the reopening of his proceedings. Sicat has demonstrated that his marriage is bona fide, and that he will diligently pursue the pending I-130 and adjustment of status.  Did the IJ and the BIA err in determining that Sicat is statutorily ineligible for relief?

Last practice March 13.

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Gabriella Gallego and Alyxandra Vernon

I.  The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment prohibits the admission of out-ofcourt, testimonial statements in a criminal trial, unless the defendant is afforded a prior opportunity to cross-examine the declarant of the statement. The translator that interpreted Ms. Spector’s statements during an interview is unavailable to testify at Ms. Spector’s trial. Does admitting the translation without providing Ms. Spector a prior opportunity for cross-examination violate her Sixth Amendment right to confrontation?

II.  Under the Fifth Amendment, immunity is provided at a defendant’s criminal trial for use and derivative use of their compelled statements. After Ms. Spector was compelled to speak to Remsen officials, a recording of the interrogation was released to the public, which helped aid the FBI’s investigation. Is Ms. Spector entitled to derivative use immunity and must a Kastigar hearing be held?

III.  The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against themselves through the privilege against self-incrimination. Ms. Spector had the right to remain silent when an FBI agent made accusatory statements to her after she was arrested, but before her Miranda rights were read. Should the Government be allowed to use Ms. Spector’s pre-Miranda custodial silence to prove guilt?

Last practice March 12.

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Eisha Perry, Monika Darwish, Swetha Gopalakrishnan

Hollywood Hops, a Southern Utopia organic brewery founded by former child star Dustin Diamond, appeals a lower court decision denying an injunction on trademark grounds of use of the name Hollywood & Vine by a Southern California winery. 

The issues are these:

1) Whether Hollywood Hops is distinctive enough to qualify as a trademark and whether consumers are likely to confuse (likelihood of confusion) the names of the two companies.

2) Whether Mr. Diamond acquiesced to Hollywood & Vine's use of the name, thereby providing Hollywood & Vine with an affirmative defense.

Last practice March 14.

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Jonathan Klaren and Nicole Vales

Questions Presented:

I. Whether in the case of an Indian child custody dispute, a federal district court is a court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of interpreting the controlling federal statute.

II. Whether the non-racially based preference in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), necessary to serve the compelling purpose to ensure the integrity of Indian culture, maintains the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

Last practice March 17.

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