Event Title

45th Annual Moot Court Night: Appellate Advocacy Seminar

Event Series Title

Annual Moot Court Night

Document Type





The Cleveland-Marshall Moot Court Team will be hosting this year’s annual Moot Court Night on February 12, 2014, from 6:00-7:30 PM in the Moot Court Room. This year’s Moot Court Night will feature a team composed of third-year students, Caitlin Hill, Amanda Martin, and Justin Stevenson. They will be arguing both sides of Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius, a case from the Third Circuit on which the Supreme Court recently granted certiorari, along with its companion case, Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius.

The issues involve whether Petitioners, a for-profit corporation and its owners, have standing to assert claims for injunctive relief under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and whether Petitioners will have a likelihood of success on those claims. Petitioners claim that the Women’s Preventative Healthcare Regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violate their free exercise of religion by requiring them to buy insurance that provides health care services to their female employees that would include emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Ella.

The presiding judges will include the Honorable Patricia A. Blackmon of the Eighth District Court of Appeals, along with the Honorable Dan A. Polster and the Honorable Benita Y. Pearson, both of whom are currently judges on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The judges will provide a detailed critique of each student-advocate’s performance, zeroing in on what was effective and what was not effective. The judges will also take questions from the audience concerning the finer points of appellate advocacy.

The problem is the topic of this year’s William E. McGee National Civil Rights Competition at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The team will be traveling to Minneapolis on February 20 to compete against other schools around the nation in mock appellate advocacy, including brief writing and oral advocacy.