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Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition

Information for Judges

Thank you for your interest in judging our moot court competition. Your service as a visiting judge is extraordinary valuable to today's students. Spring rounds begin Tuesday, February 25, and run through the final argument on Friday, November 7. Find the complete schedule of arguments below.

Frequently Asked Questions
Answers

When are Spring Oral Arguments?

Each complete argument, including judges' scoring and comments, lasts for one hour, with three to four hours of argument scheduled each evening and Saturday.

  • Octofinals: February 25th and 26th from 6 – 10 p.m.
  • Quarterfinals: February 28th from 6 – 10 p.m. and March 1st from 3 – 7 p.m.
  • Semifinals: March 4th from 6 – 10 p.m.
  • Finals: March 7th

How do I sign up to judge, if I haven't already?

Thanks so much for your interest in judging. To select a date and time to judge, please e-mail us at judges@indiana.edu; use our online registration form; or call one of our Executive Judge Coordinators: David Frazee at (210) 859-9438, Katie Rowe at (630) 362-8423, or Jon Turpin at (937) 581-0362. We will respond to your contact within two business days.

What does a Competition Judge do?

As a Judge, not only do you get to meet distinguished legal professionals and alumni from around the country, but you also will have an influential role on young law students and soon-to-be graduates. The duties of a judge are serving as a member of a three to four person panel for student oral arguments. Students will present opposing sides in a case heard before a fictional federal circuit court of appeals. Judges listen to the arguments and pose questions to test the strength of the student's logic. Some questions may help students in articulating an argument, and other questions may challenge application to a new fact pattern.

After competitors have presented, judges will evaluate the competitors' performance and have an opportunity for informal discussion with students to provide them feedback. You will not read the actual briefs written by the competitors, but you will be given a "bench memo" written by the Moot Court Board to help acquaint you with the issues.

How long does each Moot Court session last?

Weekday Spring Round oral arguments begin at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday oral arguments begin at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Judges will evaluate the competitors' performance and have an opportunity for informal discussion with students after each round. Each student argues for fifteen minutes; a complete session, including judges' comments, takes about 1 hour. Judges are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before each session.

Should I plan to judge at all the sessions on weeknights?

We appreciate any time you can offer to judge the competition. It is extremely helpful to have judges stay for multiple sessions on a given day. Many judges have found early rounds so enjoyable that they did not want to leave. Please consider staying to judge a couple rounds if your schedule allows!

How can I view the competition problem?

Read the Spring 2013-2014 Problem.

Do I need expertise in any particular subject area in order to judge?

No; we have found that having judges from diverse legal backgrounds greatly enhances our Competition. Whatever your field of practice or experience, your service as a judge will be a tremendous benefit to our students.

Judges are sent a bench brief before oral argument that concisely outlines the current applicable law and suggests questions for each side. While the bench brief, plus the Competition Problem itself, provides all of the information that you will need to judge, Board Members are also available to answer any questions that you might have about the topic or the scope of the issues in advance of arguments.

What if I have worked with, or am related to, a participant in this year's Competition?

You may still judge in the Competition if you have worked with or are related to a student participant. However, please provide us with the name of the student, and we will ensure that you are not assigned to judge that particular argument.

How do I know when I am going to judge?

Once you contact us to arrange a time, we will send you a confirmation e-mail confirming the date and time of your participation.

Can I arrange to judge with my friends or colleagues?

Absolutely! We are happy to schedule you to judge with your friends or colleagues. Email us at judges@indiana.edu and let us know with whom you would like to judge.

Where can I park when I come to judge?

Parking is available nearby at the Henderson Street Garage (across 3rd Street from the Law School) or Atwater Garage (on Atwater Ave., several blocks east of the law school). Vehicles parked in the lot across from the Law School are subject to ticketing by university parking officials.

Where should I go once I get to the Law School on the night of my argument?

Take the elevator or stairs to the "Judges' Reception Room.”  We will have signs posted. Please plan to arrive at least fifteen minutes in advance of your round. You may leave coats, briefcases, etc. in the Reception Room during your argument. If you have brought guests who choose not to attend the argument itself, they are welcome to relax and enjoy refreshments in the Reception Room during the arguments as well.

Will I have time for dinner?

Refreshments will be provided in the Judges’ Reception Room. We encourage you to come enjoy the food and meet members of the Moot Court Board and first year students serving as bailiffs for the competition.

What if I am from out of town and would like to spend the night in Bloomington?

We can help you plan your trip and stay with hotel and travel information.

If you would like help making hotel reservations, or have other questions about your trip to Bloomington, please feel free to contact our Alumni Relation office at (812) 855-9700, or lawalum@indiana.edu.