The Moot Court Board facilitates several competitions at the law school every year. For more information regarding a competition that you are interested in, please contact the in-house competition chair.

Each competition has certain eligibility rules. All participants must be in good academic standing and have at least a 2.0 to compete.

The winning team from in-house competitions usually advances to regional competitions. In some instances, winners of a regional competition will move on to a national competition.

Training Resources

The Board has compiled a streaming video library of training sessions and exhibition rounds, as well as recordings of our Bond and Tausend Appellate competitions, which you can access from the Moot Court multimedia library. You will also find resources on our General Advocacy Bibliography page, and popular briefs are available on Westlaw and Lexis.

General Competitions

  • Barbara K. Bucholtz et al., The Little Black Book: A Do-It Yourself Guide for Law Student Competitions (2002).
  • Larry Teply, Law School Competitions in a Nutshell (2003).

Appellate Advocacy and Brief Writing

  • Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts (1999).
  • Edward D. Re & Joseph R. Re, Brief Writing & Oral Argument, (8th ed. 1999).
  • John T. Gaubatz & Taylor Mattis, The Moot Court Book: A Student Guide to Appellate Advocacy (3d ed. 1994).
  • UCLA Moot Court Honors Program, Handbook of Appellate Advocacy (3d ed. 1993).

Trial Advocacy

  • Kennedy F. Hegland, Trial and Practice Skills in a Nutshell (3d ed. 2002).
  • Paul Bergman, Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell (3d ed. 1997).
  • Steven H. Goldberg, The First Trial: Where Do I Sit? What Do I Say? In a Nutshell (1982).
  • Thomas A. Mauet, Trial Techniques (6th ed. 2002).
  • Berger, Mitchell, and Clark, Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy (Aspen 2008)
  • Michell, John, Evidentiary Foundations (Imwinklereid)

A Note to First Year Students

As a first year law student, your time will be extremely limited by your studies. Please be aware that competitions require a lot of time and energy, especially for first year students who have yet to take Legal Writing II.

Per the administration, first year participation in moot competition is limited to one competition. The 1L competition occurs in the spring.

Complaint Policy

Competitors are entitled to file a complaint about a competition round within 5 minutes of the close of that round. You may download and print a complaint form.

Sanctions Policy

Volunteer attorneys provide the Seattle University School of Law a great service by giving up their limited free time to judge, coach, and work with student competitors. Please keep this in mind should you consider dropping out of a competition. Unless otherwise specified, the drop deadline for all trial competitions (Mock Trial and Administrative Law) and Legal Writing II competitions (James Bond and Tausend) is one (1) week prior to the date of the competition, and the drop deadline for all other competitions is one (1) week prior to the due date of the briefs. See below for additional information and penalties.

Sanctions Policy

  1. Filing of Complaint
    All complaints shall be filed within forty-five (45) days of the offense, in writing, with the competition administrator and shall clearly and succinctly state the nature of the claim.
  2. Confidential Nature of Proceedings
    All phases of the sanction process shall be confidential.
  3. Application
    This policy applies to all Moot Court sponsored activities, including, but not limited to, in-house, regional, and national events.
  4. Late Briefs

    A. A brief for any competition received after 10 pm on the day the administrative committee established as the brief due date, will not be accepted nor graded for the competition.

    B. This rule shall not operate as a bar to participation in the oral round of the competition in which the late brief was filed.

  5. Withdrawal from a Competition
    1. A competitor withdrawing from a competition following the established withdrawal date shall notify the administering committee in writing of the competitor's intent to withdraw and shall set forth the reason why withdrawal from the competition is necessary.
      1. The reasons for withdrawal set forth in the competitor's statement may be used by the administrating committee or the Executive Committee in determining whether sanctions are appropriate.
      2. In the case of a regional competitor, notice of withdrawal shall be given to the competition's regional administrator.
  6. Powers of the Administering Committee
    1. The committee administering the competition at issue may sanction a competitor for withdrawing from a competition after the allowable withdrawal date.
    2. The committee administering a competition may make a formal recommendation to the Executive Committee that an individual be sanctioned for any other conduct related to the competition it is administering, including conduct described in Article III, Section 1 of the Bylaws.
  7. Powers of the Executive Committee
    1. The Committee may sanction a competitor who withdraws from an in-house competition after the allowable withdrawal date.
    2. In an effort to achieve uniformity of sanctions for more serious offenses and to give the Moot Court Board a united voice in dealing with the Seattle University Conduct Review Board, the Committee shall directly receive any complaints regarding violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
    3. The Committee may investigate any alleged rule infraction. An investigation will begin as soon as possible, however:
      1. An investigation by the Executive Committee must commence within 45 days of the date that the alleged sanctionable offense occurred.
      2. If the complaint being investigated by the Executive Committee is against a member of the Moot Court Board, and the Executive Committee finds the complaint to be warranted, the Executive Committee shall report its findings to the full Board who will determine the appropriate sanction, if any.
    4. The Committee may sanction an individual for any other conduct related to Board-sponsored activities, including conduct described in Article III, Section 1 of the Bylaws.
    5. The power to sanction is totally discretionary and under no circumstances shall the Executive Committee be required to sanction an individual.
  8. Sanctions
    1. Sanctions may include any of the following or a combination thereof:
      1. Bar from future competitions
        1. for the current semester; or
        2. for the remainder of the current academic year.
      2. Referral to the Conduct Review Board pursuant to section 6 (b).
      3. Removal from Board membership.
      4. Consideration of the issue in reviewing an application for Moot Court Board membership.
      5. Require participation in future events as a bailiff, witness, or time keeper.
      6. Deduction of penalty points from competition scores.
      7. Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the sanctioning board.
  9. Right to Appeal
    1. In all cases of Moot Court Board administered sanctions, the offending student shall have the right to a hearing before the Executive Committee before sanctions are applied.
    2. The Executive Committee shall hold an appeal hearing at the request of the sanctioned party on any sanction made pursuant to section 6 (A) within 7 days following receipt of a complaint or appeal from a Competition Committee decision.

Regional Competitions

Regional and National teams benefit from a modest budget that pays for competition-related expenses, including travel and housing. Administrators will also arrange for faculty and practitioner assistance in accordance with the rules of the competition, including practice rounds and oral critiques.

Selection of Regional Competitors

Qualification and Competition Selection. To participate in most regional and invitational competitions, you must win an in-house competition of the corresponding type (i.e., you must win an In-House Mock Trial Competition to advance to a Mock Trial Regional Competition and you must win an In-House Appellate Competition to advance to a Regional or Invitational Appellate Competition). After you have been offered a position on a team, you and your teammates must choose a competition from the list below. Once you have been offered a chance to compete at a regional or invitational competition, we will not withdraw that invitation so long as you continue to follow your coaches' instructions, the Board's direction, and the competition rules.

The winners of the James Bond In-House Appellate Competition will advance to the American Bar Association Regional Competition, which is held in the spring following the Bond Competition. The winners of the Fred Tausend In-House Appellate Competition will advance to the National Moot Court Regional Competition in the fall following the Tausend competition. For a more comprehensive look at the qualification procedure, please take a look at our Regional Qualification Chart.

Additional Teams

Each in-house competition will produce one regional or invitational competition team. Often, however, the Board fields an additional team composed of in-house participants in order to ensure Seattle University's success in the regional or invitational competition. Places on this additional team will be offered to the remaining in-house competitors in the order in which they placed at the in-house competition.

Composition of Competition Teams

Although two students may have been partners in the in-house competition, there is no guarantee that they will be partners for the regional or invitational competition. The Board and the regional coaches will determine the composition of the competition team(s) with the goal of maximizing the chances that Seattle University will succeed at the competition. In the event a qualifying in-house competitor cannot compete in a regional competition, that person's place will be offered to the remaining in-house competitors in the order in which they placed.

There may be times when one spot may be offered to two partners who are next in line to compete. In such a case, the partners must choose between themselves to decide which one will advance to the competition. If the partners cannot decide, then the Board will choose between them, usually by random selection.

BLSA Regional Competitions

The National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA) sponsors two regional competitions for their members: the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition and the Frederick Douglass Appellate Competition. BLSA members may not compete in these regional competitions unless they participate in the In-House Mock Trial Competition (to qualify for Marshall) or In-House Appellate Competition (to qualify for Douglass). To qualify, a BLSA member must inform the in-house administrators before the in-house competition that she/he wants to compete for a chance to compete in the Thurgood Marshall or Frederick Douglass competition. Positions on the Marshall and Douglass teams will be offered to those BLSA members in the order they place in the in-house competition.

BLSA members may of course participate in in-house competitions in order to qualify for other competitions, but may only qualify for one regional competition per in-house competition.

Appellate Advocacy Competitions

  • Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition: Sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA)

    The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition was established in 1990 in honor of Saul Lefkowitz, a Chairman of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Competition is an annual event consisting of Regional Competitions in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, and a Final National Competition in Washington, DC, USA.

    The objective of the Competition is to introduce law students to important issues arising in U.S. trademark and unfair competition law. Law students who participate in the Competition have the opportunity to develop their brief writing and oral advocacy skills in a mock courtroom experience.

    The appeal is argued before distinguished jurists from the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit (CAFC), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the USPTO and judges from various district and other courts. During National Finals, cash prizes totaling up to US $8,500 are awarded.

  • Commercial Bankruptcy - Annual Duberstein Moot Court Competition
  • The John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition: Now in its fourteenth year, focuses on timely issues of criminal procedure and criminal law.
  • 2014 Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition: Honoring Evan A. Evans (1876-1948)

    Judge Evans, an 1899 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1916 to 1948. He maintained strong ties to the University of Wisconsin, serving as trustee of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, as president of the Alumni Association, and as a member of the Board of Visitors.

    While on the bench, Judge Evans asked for and received a separation of the duties handled by the circuit and district courts, so that the district courts handled all of the trial work while the circuit court dealt only with the growing number of appeals. Judge Evans' request to physically separate the courts resulted in the construction of the U.S. Court of Appeals building at 1212 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

    The University of Wisconsin Law School Moot Court Board is pleased to honor the career of Evan A. Evans by inviting schools to argue constitutional issues in the hope of living up to his high standard of appellate advocacy. Judge Evans, noted during his years of private practice for both his brief-writing and his outstanding oral advocacy, left as his legacy a standard of excellence in the field of appellate advocacy which inspired the dedication of this competition.

  • Gabrielli National Family Law Competition
  • William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition
  • Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition: Recognized as the preeminent environmental law moot in the United States, the event tests skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy involving issues drawn from real cases, providing experience in environmental litigation first hand.
  • Frederick Douglas National Moot Court Competition: * Sponsored by the National Black Law Student Association. *This competition is only open to members of Seattle University's BLSA chapter.
  • The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition: This competition is comprised of a regional round, a national round, and then a world finals round.
  • National First Amendment Moot Court Competition: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "the cornerstone of American democracy" is the focus of the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition. Recognized as one of the nation's finest constitutional law competitions, this annual event features a current First Amendment controversy.
  • Sexual Orientation Law Moot Court Competition: The Sexual Orientation Law Moot Court Competition is the only national competition dedicated exclusively to the area of sexual orientation law. The competition will provide an opportunity for competitors to write an appellate level brief on a current topic in sexual orientation law and to argue the case before a panel of judges. The competition is designed to promote and recognize the finest oral and written advocacy on a significant problem in sexual orientation law. The competition primary occurs over a two weekend period. The finalists are invited to return for the second weekend to try their case. Travel expenses are paid for all competitors that make it to the final round, excluding coaches.
  • National Criminal Procedure Tournament: This annual competition is held early in the fall at the University of San Diego.
  • National Health Law Moot Court Competition: For over a decade, the Center for Health Law and Policy at Southern Illinois University School of Law, the Department of Medical Humanities at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, the American College of Legal Medicine, and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation have sponsored the National Health Law Moot Court Competition. The Competition is held annually at the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, Illinois. This competition is typically held in November.

Trial Advocacy Competitions


Note: Please refer to the Web links provided to obtain up-to-date information about important dates and deadlines.