2015 McBaine Competition

CONGRATULATIONS to Jana Jett Loeb ‘15 for winning the 2015 McBaine championship, and to finalist Bevan Dowd ‘15! Congratulations also to Samantha Reed ‘15 (for Petitioner) and John Chamberlain ‘15 (for Respondent) for winning the Crowell & Moring Best Brief awards. Please click here for Samantha’s brief and here for John’s brief. Click here for photos from the final round.

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. 

The case for the 2014-2015 competition was U.S. v. Sterling. The case concerned 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 2014-2015 competition, we were proud to welcome Judge Mary Murguia, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Judge Morgan Christen, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Paul Watford, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The final round took place on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Booth Auditorium. The schedule of events was 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 former Advocacy Fellow, were also available for individual meetings throughout the competition.

The 2014-2015 student competition directors were Katherine DeMocker (kdemocker@gmail.com) and Yasmin Emrani (yasmin.m.emrani@gmail.com).