McBaine Moot Court Competition


2015 Competition

The James Patterson McBaine Honors Competition is Boalt Hall's moot court competition and is open to all Boalt second- and third-year law students. The Competition format is modeled after U.S. Supreme Court practice. Cases chosen for the competition involve cutting-edge issues of great public importance. This year's case is US v. Sterling. The case concerns constitutional and common law protections for journalists subpoenaed to reveal the identity of confidential sources in a federal criminal trial.

For the final round of our 2015 competition, we are proud to welcome an illustrious panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:

  • Judge Mary Murguia
  • Judge Morgan Christen
  • Judge Paul Watford 

The final round will take place on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in Booth Auditorium.  The schedule of events is as follows:

5:30-5:55:  Audience and competitors enter auditorium

6:00-7:05:  Oral Arguments

7:05-7:15:  Judges retire to deliberate; Winners of the best brief are announced

7:15-7:30:  Judges announce winner and deliver comments

7:30:           Court adjourned

The final round of the competition is one of Boalt's premier appellate advocacy events. All students are welcome to attend and celebrate the achievements of the advocates. The McBaine competition and Best Brief Award are made possible with generous support from Crowell & Moring LLP.

Competitors are forbidden from using any outside help when writing their briefs and preparing oral arguments. However, the Competition's Directors host office hours before the brief is due to provide participants an opportunity to discuss the case, brief-writing, and oral argument preparation. Competitors are also welcome to email the Directors at any point in the process with questions or concerns. Bill Fernholz, the Director of Appellate Programs, and Anne Gordon, the Advocacy Fellow, are also available for individual meetings throughout the competition.

If you have questions, please contact this year's student competition directors, Katherine DeMocker at or Yasmin Emrani at