Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prof. Brandeis holds mock oral arguments in courts and civil liberties class

L to r: Vikam Patel, Prof. Brandeis,
Justin Roberts, and Callie Kim discuss the project.
Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, has scheduled a moot court project for his Justice 344 course, "Courts and Civil Liberties." A moot court is a mock appellate court proceeding which involves the presentation of oral argument before a panel of judges. Students are divided into teams and prepare arguments for hypothetical cases.  Their arguments are then presented before a panel of  judges (including Prof. Brandeis) composed of lawyer volunteers. Vikram Patel, Law Office of Vikram Patel; Justin Roberts, General Counsel for IBEW Local 1547; and Callie Kim, Alaska Public Defender Agency, participated as judges for the first arguments.

The judges pose questions to the students and evaluate their presentation. The hypothetical cases address such issues as alternative criminal sentencing, the establishment clause (separation of church and state), student free speech rights, second amendment right to bear arms, privacy and technology issues, free speech and political protest, and equal rights and protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Mock oral arguments will continue this week and next with different lawyer volunteers as judges.

Student David Crozier presents his argument.

Participants in first mock oral arguments. Front row l to r:  Callie Kim (lawyer volunteer), Tamara Douglas, Dawn Leonard, Samantha Cestnik, Mary Dombroski, Vikram Patel (lawyer volunteer). Back row l to r: Justin Roberts (lawyer volunteer), David Crozier, Sean O'Connor, Prof. Jason Brandeis.  Not pictured: Sam Peters and Jennifer Gregory.