Participants are quick on their feet at the Rex E. Lee Moot Court Competition Final
In the Moot Court Competition Final on Thursday, November 1, competition finalists Jake Green and Gage Zobell argued in behalf of the petitioner while Court Roper and Marianne Farr represented the respondents. The three distinguished members of the court were Judge Morgan B. Christen of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge G. Murray Snow of the Arizona Federal District Court.
In this particular case, the petitioner was the Broadway Licensing Corporation (BLC) and the respondents were the Counterpoint Repertory Troupe (a non-profit arts organization) and the Mapleton Church of the Trinitarian Gospel. The Troupe performed extended excerpts from the popular Broadway musical, Godspell
, at Mapleton Church and the BLC, which holds Godspell
’s copyrights, sued them both for failing to first secure a license.
However, Troupe and Mapleton Church believe that the performances qualified for a copyright exemption that Congress previously granted to religions. The issue, then, was whether the copyright exemption was (1) applicable and (2) constitutionally valid.
Each finalist took a turn presenting his or her oral argument and answering difficult questions from the judges designed to fluster them. As the judges later noted, it was extremely difficult to determine a winner because they all performed so well. Specifically, Judge Christen stated, “I gave you all really high marks for your presence, you were really poised. I was very, very impressed by that.”
In the end, the Best Oralist Award was given to Jake Green, with Marianne Farr as runner-up. While Judge Snow applauded all the finalists for doing “the kind of a job that [they] can be very, very proud of,” he commended Green and Farr especially in their efforts to answer the questions posed to them. That is something many advocates do poorly, he said.
BYU’s National Moot Court Team for the upcoming year will include competition finalists Jake Green, Marianne Farr, Gage Zobell and Court Roper and best brief writers Kyle Woodhouse and Sarah Hampton.
President of the Moot Court Board of Advocates Michael Hancock encouraged all first-year law students to sign up for next year’s competition. This competition forces participants to “really know their stuff, and to be able to think on their feet,” Hancock said. “These are the kind of skills you can develop as you join Moot Court and participate. … These are the kind of skills that will translate into the profession.”
Posted:November 02, 2012