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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 28, 2003

UI Law Moot Court Teams To Be Decided Next Week

The semi-finals for this year's Van Oosterhout and Baskerville moot court competitions will be Monday, March 3, with the winners representing the UI College of Law next year in two prestigious national moot court competitions.

The public is invited to attend the semi-final round starting at 5:45 p.m. in the Boyd Law Building. The Van Oosterhout competition will be in Room 295 and the Baskerville in Room 125. The finals, also open to the public, will be Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m. in Levitt Auditorium in Boyd Law Building. The top four students in the Baskerville competition will represent the College of Law in the Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition in Chicago, while the Van Oosterhout competitors will represent the college at the National Moot Court Competition in New York City.

In the semi-finals, 16 second-year law students will argue a Fourth Amendment and Eighth Amendment case before a panel of federal judges, said James Hemmings, chair of the moot court board. Regarding the Fourth Amendment issue, the student advocates will argue the constitutional sufficiency of using an anonymous tip to stop a suspect. Regarding the Eighth Amendment issue, advocates will argue the constitutionality of three-strikes law as applied to a defendant with convictions for relatively minor felonies.

Hemmings said advocates present written briefs on each topic and engage in oral argument before a panel of judges. Advocates must argue both sides of the cases and are judged for their legal reasoning, acuity, communication ability and all-around legal skills. The winners will be determined by the panel of judges, which consists this year of Ruth V. McGregor, chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court; Linda R. Reade, U.S. district court judge for the northern district of Iowa in Cedar Rapids; and Jerry Larson, justice of the Iowa Supreme Court.

The students are second-year law students who will represent the UI College of Law next year as third-year students. Preliminary competition began earlier this month, and the quarterfinals are being held this week.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.