Craven Competition Rules

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2016 Craven Competition Rules

Preface: The Craven Competition Bench reserves the right to make decisions regarding any aspect of the competition. The Bench also reserves the right to amend these rules at any time before or during the competition.

A. TEAMS

1. NUMBER AND COMPOSITION

Each law school may enter one team that shall be composed of two or three students. Additional teams will be placed on the wait list. The first TWENTY-FOUR (24) teams to register online at http://studentorgs.law.unc.edu/mootcourt/craven/teamregistration/ beginning October 19, 2015 12:00 P.M. will be tentatively registered pending receipt of their entry fee. Entry fees must be RECEIVED by November 22, 2015. After the on-line registration form is submitted, the main contact will be notified via email as to whether your team is one of the first twenty-four or is on the waiting list.

2. IDENTIFICATION OF TEAM MEMBERS

Team rosters must be included with the submission of the team’s brief. The roster must include the full name of each team member.

3. SUBSTITUTION IN MEMBERSHIP OF TEAMS

A school may not substitute team members at any time after the brief has been submitted. Where a team member will not be able to argue a given round, such as for observation of Saturday as the Sabbath, the other team members must fill the gap created by his/her ineligibility. The Craven Bench does reserve the right to allow a substitute to participate in oral arguments on a showing of extreme hardship by the requesting team. An extreme hardship is classified as a sudden, immediate and unavoidable circumstance that makes the participation of a team member impossible, including but not limited to a family or personal emergency immediately before or during the competition. FAILURE TO RECEIVE OFFICIAL PERMISSION FROM THE CRAVEN BENCH TO CHANGE THE ROSTER WILL RESULT IN THE DISQUALIFICATION OF THE OFFENDING TEAM.

B. BRIEFS

1. SIDE ARGUED

After the field has been selected for the Competition, each team will be randomly assigned to serve as counsel for either Petitioner or Respondent for purposes of writing the brief. This assignment is done so that each team will be guaranteed argument on brief and off brief in the two preliminary rounds of the competition.

2. LENGTH AND SPECIFICATIONS

Teams shall double-space lines between text, except footnotes and long quotations which may properly be single-spaced. The type size used shall produce no more than 10 characters per inch (10 cpi). The Craven Bench recommends that each team use Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Briefs shall not exceed forty (40) one-sided pages in length, excluding the following:

  • Cover;
  • Questions Presented;
  • Table of Contents;
  • Table of Authorities; and
  • Appendices.

Any partially filled page shall be counted as a full page. Briefs shall be fastened with three staples along the left margin. Pages should not exceed 8 1/2 by 11 inches, with typed matter not exceeding 6 1/2 by 9 inches (i.e. 1-inch margin minimum on all sides).

Exceeding the page limit, including the improper use of margins and/or font size shall result in a deduction of 2 points for each page or partial page which exceeds the forty page limit (no maximum deduction).

This is an open-universe competition. Teams are allowed, and even encouraged, to look at sources beyond what is included in the Record on Appeal. Teams should treat this as they would any case going before the Supreme Court of the United States in regards to the type of sources cited. Please note, however, this does not mean that teams are free to substitute their own facts into the problem. The factual record is limited to that which is provided and facts of which can properly be taken as judicial notice.

3. FORMAT

Briefs shall be in the format required by Rule of the Supreme Court of the United States, except that teams should omit a formal statement of jurisdiction. All citations shall be complete and in the form prescribed by the latest edition of The Bluebook.

Team Letter Designation: For identification purposes, each team shall be assigned a letter that shall be printed in the lower right corner of the cover page of the brief. Briefs shall not be signed, and no material serving to identify a team or its members (other than the Team Letter Designation) shall appear anywhere within or on the brief itself.

Appendices may be used to recite the text of statutes, constitutional provisions, regulations, and materials that are not available generally.

4. CERTIFICATION

By submitting briefs to the Craven Bench, each team member certifies that its briefs have been prepared in accordance with the Craven Competition Rules and that these briefs represent the work product, proofreading, and evaluation of ONLY the members of the team named on the roster.

5. SUBMISSION

a) Each team shall:

  • Submit its brief electronically as a PDF file and as a Microsoft Word document;
  • Submit four (4) hard copies of its brief.

b) Submission of Brief Electronically

Briefs must be sent as an email attachment no later than 11:59 P.M. EST on Sunday, January 10, 2016, to cravencompetition@gmail.com or another email address designated by the Craven Bench and communicated to teams before that date. The brief must be sent in both Microsoft Word and PDF file formats.

Any team whose brief is emailed later than 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, January 10, 2016, shall be assessed a late submission penalty of FIFTEEN (15) POINTS to be deducted from the overall brief score.

c) Submission of four (4) Hard Copies of Brief

Each team shall submit four (4) hard copies of its brief to the following address:

Craven Bench
Holderness Moot Court
University of North Carolina School of Law
Campus Box # 3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380

Briefs must be sent PRIORITY MAIL by the United States Postal Service postmarked no later than Tuesday, January 12, 2016. Any team whose mailed brief is postmarked later than January 12, 2016, shall be assessed a late submission penalty of TEN (10) POINTS, which will be deducted from the overall score of the brief.

Teams are not required to send a copy of each brief to opposing teams. The Craven bench will post briefs according to Team Letter Designation. The briefs will be available for viewing, downloading and printing by prior to the beginning of the competition (date TBD).

6. REVISION OF THE BRIEFS

A team may not revise its brief after its submission to the Craven Bench.

7. SCORING

Qualified persons selected by the Craven Bench will score all briefs.

8. PARTICIPATION

Three team members may compete in the overall competition, but only two team members may participate in any single round of oral argument. Two team members must argue in each round. All team members are expected to have participated in preparing the brief. This rule is subject to the provisions of Rules A3.

C. ORAL ARGUMENT

1. DAY ONE (THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2016)

Rounds 1 & 2:

Arguments shall commence on Thursday, February 4, 2016, at 6:00 P.M. The competition format will begin with two preliminary rounds - the first round “on brief” and the second round “off brief” for all teams. Pairings for the two preliminary rounds of the competition will be determined randomly, except that no two teams will be paired against each other in both preliminary rounds. Both preliminary rounds will be held on Thursday, February 4, 2016. See Section D for Scoring.

At the end of Round 2, all teams will be scored according to the standards in Section D, Article 1. The field will be reduced from TWENTY-FOUR (24) teams to SIXTEEN (16) teams. All remaining teams will be assigned to a bracket based on aggregate scores from briefs and oral arguments from Rounds 1 and 2.

This bracket will determine all pairings for the remainder of the Craven Competition. This bracket will be posted for review in the Rotunda area of the Law School. Times and room assignments for succeeding arguments shall be announced by the Bench in the Rotunda area at the time that the teams have been seeded. See Section D for Scoring.

2. DAY TWO (Friday, FEBRUARY 5, 2016)

Round of Sixteen:

The second elimination round will reduce the field from SIXTEEN (16) teams to EIGHT (8) teams. Only brief scores and oral argument scores for the Round of Sixteen will be used to calculate a team’s score for this round. See Section D for Scoring. Each team will be assigned the role of Petitioner or Respondent for this round as determined by a coin flip.

Quarter-Finals:

The Quarter-Finals will reduce the field from EIGHT (8) teams to FOUR (4) teams. Only brief scores and oral argument scores for this Quarter-Final round will be used to calculate a team’s score for this round. See Section D for Scoring. Each team will be assigned the role of Petitioner or Respondent for this round as determined by a coin flip.

4. FINAL DAY (SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2016)

Semi-Final Round:

The Semi-Finals will reduce the field from FOUR (4) teams to TWO (2) final teams. Only oral argument scores for this Semi-Final round will be used to calculate a team’s score for this round. See Section D for Scoring. Each team will be assigned the role of Petitioner or Respondent for this round as determined by a coin flip.

Final Round:

The Final Round shall be conducted in the Courtroom at UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill, North Carolina or in another location determined by the Craven Bench. Only oral argument scores for this final round shall be used to determine the Champion of the Annual J. Braxton Craven Memorial Moot Court Competition. See Section D for Scoring.

5. PARTICIPATION

Three team members may compete in the overall competition but only two team members may participate in a single round of oral argument. Two team members must argue in each round. All team members that will participate in oral arguments are expected to participate in preparing the brief. Teams may not have “Brief Specialists” who participate in preparing the brief but do not argue. This rule is subject to the provisions of Rules A3 and B8.

6. COACHES

As specified in the Craven Rules, a “coach” is someone who IS NOT writing or arguing a brief at the Craven Competition. A “team member” IS someone who is writing and arguing a brief at the Craven Competition. Accordingly, no coaches can participate or register as team members, and no coaches are allowed to write

the brief for team members. Furthermore, ALL coaches must be submitted with the team roster when the briefs are submitted. Coaches cannot be changed after the submission. This rule is subject to the provisions of Rule A3

7. DURATION

Oral arguments shall be limited to a total of thirty (30) minutes per team. Judges may interrupt arguments to ask questions and may, within their discretion, allow additional time to any participant(s). Petitioner, by advance arrangement with the judging panel and the student marshal, may reserve up to five (5) minutes of rebuttal time. This rebuttal time will be deducted from the team’s total thirty (30) minutes allotment, leaving it up to the competitors to decide from which teammate’s argument those minutes will be deducted. Only one team member arguing for Petitioner may argue during the rebuttal period. In each round, every team will argue both issues in the problem. The Petitioner will argue both issues, followed by the Respondent on both issues, followed by any rebuttal reserved by the Petitioner.

8. SPECTATORS

During all opening rounds of oral argument only the two participating teams’ members and any non-participating team member and any coaches may be present in the room without prior authorization from the Craven Bench. This restriction is due to space limitations in certain rooms. For the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and Finals this rule does not apply. Additionally, this rule does not apply to judges, marshals, or persons affiliated with the Craven Bench at any time during the competition.

9. COIN FLIPS

The sides of Petitioner and Respondent will be determined by a coin flip. One team will have the option of calling the coin in the air. The team that wins the coin flip will get to select which side, Petitioner or Respondent, it wishes to argue. The team that loses the coin flip will argue the remaining side. Coin flips will be conducted before the beginning of oral arguments for each round excluding the initial two preliminary rounds.

D. SCORING

Preliminary Rounds 1 & 2 : The scores of each team shall be computed by weighting the oral argument score (75%) and the brief score (25%). The total scores will be used to determine the top SIXTEEN (16) teams. The win-loss record of each team and the aggregate scores from Rounds 1 & 2 will then be used to seed the remaining rounds.

*Note: elimination takes brief scores into account. It is possible, therefore, for a team to win the oral argument portion of the round but not advance due to a lower brief score.

Round 3 (Round of Sixteen) : The scores of each team shall be computed by weighting the oral argument score (90%) and the brief score (10%). No scores from other rounds will carry over into Round 3. Teams will be eliminated in a single elimination, head-to-head format, with the top eight (8) teams advancing to Round 4.

Rounds 4 (Quarter-Finals) & 5 (Semi-Finals) : Teams shall advance from these rounds based upon a majority vote of the Judges in a single elimination, head-to-head format. Judges shall be asked to keep notes and provide a number score for each competitor, but the majority vote of the Judges shall be the sole determinate for used to propel a team forward in the competition.

Round 6 (Finals): The winner shall be determined based upon majority vote by the panel of Judges.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106
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