CONTACT: SCOTT HAUSER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
UI law students hold moot court competition
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa law students will argue the legal
merits of whether a paid tax-preparer can be held liable for making false
statements to the government even though she felt she was forced to do
so by her client as part of the College of Law's moot court competition
Wednesday, March 4 and Saturday, March 7.
The annual series of arguments, known as the Van Oosterhout Memorial
Moot Court Competition, determines the six-member team that will represent
the UI in the National Moot Court Competition next fall.
The semi-final round will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 in Levitt
Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building; the final round will be at 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 7 in Levitt Auditorium.
Moot court competition features teams of two student-advocates who argue
before three-person panels that include active, sitting judges of U.S.
and state courts. The competition requires each team to take turns as appellant
The panelists score advocates on both their oral and written arguments.
Ashish Mishra, second vice-chairperson of the UI Moot Court Board, says
the competition is an accurate reflection of what law students are being
trained to do.
"Knowing how to research, write and present arguments to a court
are all skills that law students will need when they begin to practice,"
Mishra says. "The Van Oosterhout Competition gives you a chance to
refine your skills in those areas and to find out what it's like to present
cases to real-world judges."
Judges for the semi-final round are John Jarvey, judge of the U.S. District
Court in Cedar Rapids; L. Vern Robinson, judge of the Sixth Judicial District
of Iowa; and N. William Hines, dean of the UI College of Law.
Judges for the final round are Carolyn King of Houston, who is a judge
on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; David M. Ebel of Denver, who
is a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and A. Frank Baron
of the Sioux City law firm of Baron, Sar, Goodwin, Gill and Lohr, and a
former clerk to Judge Martin Van Oosterhout, the competition's namesake.
The students will argue a mock case in which a paid tax preparer was
charged with lying to a government agent after she made false statements
about a client's finances.
She argues that her false statements should not be regarded as an attempt
to mislead the government agent and seeks to shield herself from criminal
liability under a doctrine known as "exculpatory no." She also
argues that she would not have filed inaccurate tax returns if government
agents had not entrapped her by threatening her family's well-being.