Moot Court – Athens State University

History of Moot Court
The ACMA was founded by Dr. Charles Knerr, a political science professor at the University of Texas, Arlington, and by Texas attorney Andrew Sommerman. Since 2001, ACMA has hosted the Championship Tournament to crown the national champion of intercollegiate moot court. The first several national championship tournaments were hosted successfully by the Honors College at UT-Arlington. The event was open to all comers, and even its first tournament drew teams from across the country even though the field was just over 20 teams. In the next several years, the event continued to grow, typically to between 70-80 teams, and attracted schools from across the United States.  Some examples of ACMA oral arguments are same-sex marriage, national health care, privacy under the 4th Amendment, life terms for minors who are not guilty of murder or attempted murder, freedom of religion, a federal ban on firearms on school grounds, and warrantless domestic wiretapping of suspected terrorists.

Athens State University Criminal Justice Moot Court Cases
Moot Court provides students with an opportunity to brief an historical case that has been previously decided by the courts; establishing precedence.  In addition, other legal debates and case law may also provide students with an opportunity to learn more about the adversarial process as well as the courtroom workgroup.  Students are assigned a specific case that they must argue as a prosecutor or defense attorney.  The case (known as the “record”) includes an appellate majority opinion and a dissent. Students will brief the case and provide additional information to the majority opinion; dissent, decisions of reversal, affirmation or remand; writ; and appellant process according to case law and constitutional amendments. Rules allow them to refer to cases cited in the cases directly included in the record. However, they can only rely on these cases within cases to the degree that they were used by the authorities directly in the record. Undergraduate moot court teams consist of two oral advocates. Each student will receive 8-10 minutes to argue assigned  case. Students are assessed on their forensics, knowledge of the law, demeanor, and ability to answer questions from the bench.

If you are interested in attending graduate school or law school and becoming a lawyer or criminal justice practitioner, join the Moot Court Program!  Moot Court will give you the opportunity to act as an attorney, brief a famous, appellate court case and present cases to a panel of judges.

If you are interested in joining you can visit the criminal justice web page at www.athens.edu, academic programs, criminal justice.

For more information please contact the faculty advisors:

Pre-Law Advisor:  Dr. Jeff Blankenship at
Criminal Justice Advisor:  Dr. Quanda Stevenson at  or 

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