Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last round of mock oral arguments held in Prof. Brandeis' courts and civil liberties class

Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, held the last round of mock trial arguments in his Justice 344 "Courts and Civil Liberties" course on Monday, December 5. 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. All of the volunteer lawyers for this session were from the Alaska Public Defender Agency, Appeals Office: Kelly Taylor, Michael Schwaiger, and Tracey Wollenberg, Supervisor of the Appeals Office.

Front row l to r:: Shawdean Hutchison, Leonee May, volunteer lawyer Tracey Wollenberg, Heather MacAlpine, Kristen Crain Robinson, and Jasen Johansen. Back row l to r: Prof. Jason Brandeis, Spencer Raidme, Michael Batch, volunteer lawyer Kelly Taylor, volunteer lawyer Michael Schwaiger, and Coleman Alguire.
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.

Student Heather MacAlpine presents her oral argument.

Student Michael Batch responds to a question from the panel.

L to r: Volunteer lawyers Tracey Wollenberg and Kelly Taylor, Prof. Jason Brandeis, and volunteer lawyer Michael Schwaiger discuss the cases prior to the mock oral arguments.