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Frequently Asked Questions 

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Back to Introduction page Frequently asked questions Click Here to View Mootcourt Problems
 
Moot Court Guide - Dr G B Reddy, Osmania University, Hyderabad - Follow him at http://www.drgbr.goforthelaw.com

Advantage of Arguments
Varying Methods of Teaching
Moot Courts
Difference between Moot Courts and Mock Trials
Why Moot ?
Key skills every mooter needs
What should a mooter do?
Court Etiquette
Court Etiquette
How to Discredit Arguments of opposite side?
What a mooter should not do?
Written Memorials-Description
Written Memorials-Other Rules
Criteria for Assessment of Mooters
Useful Info.. on Moot Courts
Conclusion

Advantage of Arguments

“In my Youth”, said his father,’I took to the Law’

  And argued each case with my wife;

  And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw

  Has lasted the rest of my life.”

     - Lewis Carroll in a poem called You Are Old, Father William in his book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

Varying Methods of Teaching
  • The Socratic method
  • Straight lecture
  • High-tech method
  • The hybrid model
  • The problem method
Moot Courts
  • An Extracurricular Activity at Law Schools
  • Simulated Court proceedings
  • Include Drafting Briefs and Oral Arguments
  • mock hearing of a point or points of law conducted by students
  • Students   argue tricky hypothetical legal issues before academic or professional lawyers
  • Judges may be real ones
  • Different from Mock trials where questions of fact are argued
Difference between Moot Courts and Mock Trials
  • Moot court usually   concerned with questions of Law only
  • Mock trial  usually refers to a simulated trial- concerned with questions of facts/evidence only
  • Moot court does not involve actual testimony or presentation of evidence
  • Moots-focused solely on   application of law to  common set of evidentiary assumptions
  • The moot argument is on the law, not on the validity of any factual evidence [The facts of the case are not in dispute ]
Why Moot ?
  • Mooting encapsulates essential skills of lawyers
  • Improves Student’s   ability to argue a point cogently and persuasively
  • Hones and develops the techniques that bring success to both student and practitioner
  • Extremely stimulating
  • Gives hands on experience of law to students
Key skills every mooter needs
  • An analytical mind
  • Capacity of a good researcher
  • Up-to date knowledge of Law
  • Building a convincing structure of presentation [One good authority is better than six mediocre ones, and is more likely to impress ]
  • Skill to make Submissions with Common sense, ability to consider the matter from the point of view of the judge, and a facility with language [Put yourself in the judge’s shoes ]
  • Anticipating questions and being ready to provide authority for your submissions
What should a mooter do?
  • First  - Read the problem carefully, summarise it, & identify area/ areas  of law the problem deals with. E.g. Constitution/crime / tort / property / contract / employment law.

 

  • Second  - look for the area in a law textbook, read relevant chapter / section on it, & identify relevant cases. Use the most up to date version of any textbook.Double check to see whether any more recent cases have affected the legal position.

 

  • Third  -  Identify arguments & points in your favour & also against you. [Be prepared to argue on any side- Prepare for Rebuttals and surrebuttals]

 

  • Fourth  - split the work between the two mooters [work together and have a working knowledge of each others' arguments ]

 

  • Support your  argument with Authority ,Reason and logic

 

  • Authorities can be Decisions of the Supreme Court, High Courts ,judgments in other jurisdictions based on common law, Quotations from learned articles and textbooks, and  Parliamentary debates

 

  • While quoting foreign cases- It may be prudent to introduce the case by saying 'although not binding on this Court it may be of assistance to examine the judgment in...'

 

  • Always keep up eye contact with the judge, and watch for signals from him or her

 

  • If you cannot answer a question, say so. [You can say-'My Lord, I am unable to assist on that point, since I have not read the relevant authority' or ‘I plead ignorance’]
Court Etiquette
  • Fifth  -Address the Judges Properly: My Lord(s)/Your Lordship(s) .Use My Lady/Your Ladyship only after ascertaining preferences of lady judges.
  • Sixth  -Address Opposite counsel as 'My Learned Friend(s)' or 'My Learned Friends Opposite'. Also appropriate is 'Lead/junior counsel for the appellants/respondents.
  • Talk to judges, not at them.
  • Ask the judges permission at various stages of the speech: 'With your Lordship's permission I would like now to...'
  • Give   full citation of a case as soon as it is mentioned, and the advocate should always ask the judge if he/she would like a summary of the facts of the case.
  • Follow the Dress Code
Court Etiquette

 

Introduce yourselvesas follows:
  • 'My Lord, I am ……, and this is ….. We are counsel for the appellant, ….., who is the claimant in this case

 

  • Always Start with – May it please this honourable court/your lordship

 

  • Initially ask the judges-'Would your Lordship like a brief summary of the facts of this case?'
How to Discredit Arguments of opposite side?
  • Distinguishing the case
  • Find Errors in citation relied on by opposite counsel Eg. Minority judgment, overruled judgment ,quoting selective text (out of context) & quoting from head-note of judgment etc.
  • Proving the law invoked as irrelevant/repealed/amended.
What a mooter should not do?
  • Don’t exceed time limit [realize importance of time management-keep an eye on the clock]
  • Don’t read from written memorials
  • Don’t quote any text/judgment without permission from judges
  • Don’t call opposing mooters as 'the opposition' and certainly not 'the enemy' or 'them over there'
  • Avoid colloquial phrases, such as 'Okay' and 'All right' [say 'I am grateful for your Lordship's assistance']
  • Never tell the judge what you think, suppose or suggest. Don’t question the judge.
  • Don’t sit  while the judge talks to you - always stand up when either the judge talks to you, or when you talk to the judge
  • Don’t talk  over the judge - never argue or talk over the judge. Wait until the judge has finished before putting forward your own points
Written Memorials-Description
  • Table of contents
  • Index of Authorities (including corresponding page numbers)
  • Statement of Jurisdiction
  • Statement of facts
  • Identification of issues
  • Summary of Pleadings
  • Pleadings including Conclusion and/or Prayer for Relief
Written Memorials-Other Rules
  • Size of Memorials/Counter memorials-not more than 25 pages
  • Typed/printed on standard A4 size paper on one side only
  • Font- Times New Roman (12) or Arial(11)
  • Text-double spaced with one inch margin on both sides
  • Foot Notes-single spaced and size 2 points less than text
  • Double spacing must between each heading in text of memorial  and between two separate footnotes.
  • Quotations of sources outside memorial of 50 words or more-shall be single spaced
  • Table of contents, index of authorities and case title-not included in the 25 pages typed/printed page limit
  • Colour of title page – Blue in case  petitioner/appellant & Red in case of respondent/respondent
Criteria for Assessment of Mooters
  • Knowledge of Facts
  • Application of Law
  • Substance in Arguments
  • Skills of Advocacy & Articulation
  • Use of Appropriate Authorities & Citation
  • Court Manners and General Impression
  • Written Memorials
Useful Info.. on Moot Courts
http://www.ilsa.org/listings/intlmoots.php(International Law Students Association)

http://www-camlaw.rutgers.edu/moot-court-competitions(Rutgers-Camden Moot Court Competition page )

Conclusion
  • If you are a keen mooter,you are certainly going to be a successful lawyer
  • Mooting –a great leveler (you will rise above language & regional barriers)
  • Remember “Father William”
 
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