2021 Frequently Asked Competition Questions


Question: Could you confirm for me that the times listed are Eastern time? It would not do our client well to show up an hour late to arguments.

Answer:  Yes, all competition times are EST, just as if the competition were actually to take place in person in Columbus.


Question: Under Article Six - Oral Argument Rules, #13 states, "No technology shall be used to assist a team member during oral argument." Are partners able to text one another during the competition regarding the rebuttal, since they may not be in the same room?

Answer:  Partners are permitted to be in the same room for the purpose you mentioned. See Article 6, Paragraph 3. Partners may also use the Zoom chat function for private messages when they are not arguing.


Question: The rules indicate that our hard copy briefs are to be postmarked by today.  Does this mean that we are required to use USPS?  Or are we permitted to use UPS or FedEx? 

Answer:  You are permitted to use any mail service as long as you can prove delivery through that service was initiated on or before January 4, 2021 (today).


Question: According to Article Seven – Briefs, 8.  Service of Briefs (see below) a hard-copy of the brief must be served upon the committee along with an electronic copy.  At this time, because of COVID, we are not an in person school.  All contact with students, as well as staff, is remote.  Therefore, students, nor I, have access to printing or binding the brief.  Is it possible to email two (2) briefs?  One brief would contain a color cover with the information and the other brief would contain a color cover without the information.  The certification would also be included in this email.  This would be done in one complete email to the Committee. 

Answer:  We do still require that teams mail a hard copy of the brief in accordance with the rules. There are scoring components that are evaluated using the hard copy.

 There are a number of inexpensive, COVID-safe online options that enable you to upload a document and order a bound, printed copy through places such as FedEx Office, Office Max, Staples, UPS, etc. Some entities allow you to direct them to send the hard copy straight to us after they print and bind it. Some offer curbside, same-day pickup if you or one of the team members opt to mail it directly yourself. Some offer both of these options. All of these businesses have locations all over the country that should enable teams to accomplish this task, even if attending school remotely.


Question: Our team is unsure of how to cite both the Supreme Court of Capitania Administrative Order and the Fremont Court Administrative Temporary Order. If you are able, we would greatly appreciate an indication of what the competition prefers.

Answer: I can’t advise you how to properly cite to an administrative order, other than to suggest you follow guidance from the most current edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation as indicated in the rules. There is direction there for citation to administrative orders.  


Question: We are currently preparing our brief for the competition.  We have been unable to find guidance on case law in the rules for the competition.  Are we limited to the case law found in the lower court opinion?  If not, is there a certain jurisdiction that we should focus on (recognizing that SCOTUS is not bound by lower court rulings)?

Answer: You are not limited by the case law in the opinion. There are no restrictions on legal authorities you may use in making your arguments. The premise is that this is a case of first impression in the fictional court of Capitania, thus you would need to look outside the jurisdiction to make your arguments. The rules indicate the general categories of how briefs are judged: “Knowledge of the law and persuasiveness will be the primary standards in grading, but form, style, and appearance will also be considered.”