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Constance Baker Motley
Moot Court Competition

“Something which we think is impossible now, is not impossible in another decade.
— Judge Constance Baker Motley

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the time limits in oral arguments work?

Because each side has two advocates, the usual Supreme Court Rules don't apply. Each team is given a half an hour, the reservation of which they must announce to the bailiff prior to the commencement of arguments. The Petitioner reserves time for each counselor and rebuttal (no more than 5 minutes total rebuttal time); the Respondent, who doesn't have rebuttal, only reserves for each counselor. Once arguments begin, counselors may not alter the time allocation, even between partners on the same side. Note that however a team allocates its time, each member of a team must speak for at least 10 minutes.

The Record states the brief deadline as Friday, January 23. January 23 is a Monday. What's up with that?

CORRECTION: Briefs are due Monday, January 23, 2006.

What materials are and are not included in the page limit specified the Rule 6? ACS Rule 6.c refers to USSC rule 24.1(a)-(g), which lists those materials considered "preliminary" and therefore not counted as part of the 30-page limit.

CORRECTION: ACS Rule 6.c should refer to USSC rule 24.1(a)-(f), not (a)-(g). The statement of the case, (g), is included in the page limit.

In addition, preliminary materials should be numbered i, ii, etc. Numbered pages (1, 2, etc.) should therefore begin with the statement of the case (USSC rule 24.1.g and following).

Finally, note carefully the exclusions and stipulations listed in ACS Rule 6.

Can you help us sort out which Supreme Court Rules we can ignore?

USSC Rule 24 incorporates Rule 33.1, but note that we have excluded the entirety of Rule 33.

USSC Rule 24.1.d is excluded. For Rule 24.3, refer to our rule 6.c.

Disregard USSC Rule 25; substitute applicable provisions of our Rule 6.

Disregard USSC Rule 26.

Again, competitors are required to comply only with Part VI, as amended above, and Rule 34 (only) of Part VII.

Where should we mail the paper copies and disk of our brief?

American Constitution Society
Columbia Law School
435 W. 116th St.
New York, New York 10027

When should we mail in our briefs?

Your briefs must be postmarked no later than January 23, 2006.

Where should we email our brief?

You should email your brief to moot_court [at] acslaw [dot] org.

When should we email our brief?

We must receive the email of your brief no later than 8pm EST on January 23, 2006.

Is there a Docket No. for our case or is it just "05-"?

"05-" (no docket no.).

Is the cover page supposed to be in Courier as well? Or are we expected to get that fancy Gothic font for "In the Supreme Court?"

As long as your cover page contains the correct information, the typeface is at your discretion.

In the Questions Presented section of the brief, are we supposed to use the questions used in the Record or we allowed to reword them "more favorably" to our position? According to Rule 24.1(a) we can reword them, but I just wanted to ensure that rewording would not conflict with Stipulations (2) and (3) in the Record.

You should use the questions as written in the Record.

Regarding jurisdiction, Stipulation 3 says we are not supposed to "argue" jurisdiction, but we are still supposed to include a statement per Rule 24.1(e) on the basis of jurisdiction, right?

Yes. See Record.

Should we cite the Record for Facts, using the pagination in the Record?


Should footnotes be single- or double-spaced?

Legal briefs generally do not contain footnotes. Citations to cases and other legal authorities appear in the text, as per Blue Book rules. Should you find a footnote indispensable, it should be single-spaced.

Consult the rules and travel sections of this site for critical information with which all participants must be familiar.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here.

For further information and comments, please email