Craven Competition Rules

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2017 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 (1) team that shall be composed of two (2) or three (3) students. The first twenty-four (24) teams to register online at http://studentorgs.law.unc.edu/mootcourt/craven/teamregistration/ beginning Monday, October 17, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. EST. will be tentatively registered pending receipt of their registration fee. Registration fees must be received by Monday, November 14, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. EST. Additional teams will be placed on the wait list. 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.

If your team is on the waiting list, the main contact will be notified via email as to whether or not our team will be able to participate in the Competition by Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. EST. If accepted to the list of participating teams, the registration fees must be paid within seven (7) days of notification.

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 reserves 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. 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.

2. 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 first two rounds of the competition.

3. FORMAT

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. Typed matter shall not exceed 6 1/2 by 9 inches (i.e. 1-inch margin minimum on all sides).

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 and all cover pages shall be white in color. All citations shall be complete and in the form prescribed by 20th edition of The Bluebook.

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

4. LENGTH AND SPECIFICATIONS

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. 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.

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

Each team shall submit its brief electronically as both a PDF file and as a Microsoft Word document no later than 11:59 P.M. EST on Monday, January 9, 2017, to cravencompetition@gmail.com or another email address designated by the Craven Bench and communicated to teams before that date.

Any team whose brief is emailed later than 11:59 P.M. EST on Monday, January 9, 2017, shall be assessed a late submission penalty of FIFTEEN (15) POINTS to be deducted from the overall brief score.

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, including but not limited to law students, professors, attorneys, and judges. Score cards for oral arguments will be released to participating teams after each round of Competition for immediate feedback. After the Competition is complete, each team will receive their brief score and ranking via email.

C. ORAL ARGUMENT

1. DAY ONE (THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2017)

Round 1:

Arguments shall commence on Thursday, February 2, 2017, at 6:00 P.M. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Room assignments for each team will be posted in the Rotunda area of the Law School before each round. The first round shall be argued “on brief” for all teams.

Round 2:

The second round shall commence on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The second round of the competition shall be argued “off brief” for all teams. Pairings for the first two rounds of the competition will be determined randomly, except that no two teams will be paired against each other in both rounds.

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

The top sixteen (16) teams will be assigned to a bracket which will determine all pairings for the remainder of the Competition. The bracket, including room assignments for succeeding arguments, will be posted in the Rotunda of the Law School.

2. DAY TWO (FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017)

Round of Sixteen (Round 3):

The round of sixteen shall commence on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The round of sixteen will reduce the field from SIXTEEN (16) teams to EIGHT (8) teams. Only brief scores and oral argument scores from 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 (Round 4):

The quarter-finals round shall commence on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 4:00 P.M. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The quarter-finals round will reduce the field from EIGHT (8) teams to FOUR (4) teams. Only brief scores and oral argument scores from the quarter-finals 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. DAY THREE (SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2017)

Semi-Final Round (Round 5):

The semi-final round shall commence on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The semi-final round will reduce the field from FOUR (4) teams to TWO (2) final teams. Only oral argument scores from the 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 commence on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:00 P.M. at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The Final Round shall be conducted in the Courtroom at University of North Carolina School of Law or in another similar 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 Section A, Article 3 and Section B, Article 8.

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 Section A, Article 3.

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. The Petitioner will argue first, followed by the Respondent, followed by any rebuttal reserved by the Petitioner.

8. SPECTATORS

During the first three rounds of oral argument, only the two participating teams’ members, the non-participating third 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

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.

Rounds 3 (Round of Sixteen) & 4 (Quarter-Finals) : 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 or Round 4. Teams will be eliminated in a single elimination, head-to-head format, with the top eight (8) teams advancing to Round 4, and the top four (4) teams advancing to Round 5.

Round 5 (Semi-Finals) : Teams shall advance from Round 5 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.
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