The John W. Davis Moot Court Competition
Held annually since 1980, the John W. Davis Moot Court Competition is an appellate advocacy competition that involves a contemporary question of constitutional law. It consists of two components: preparation of an appellate brief and presentation of oral arguments (on brief and off brief). Participants may write briefs individually or in teams of two; however, all participants argue individually.
Competitors advance from the initial rounds (after both on and off brief) based on the quality of their brief and oral advocacy while they advance in later rounds based purely on oral advocacy. The Moot Court Board recognizes the Best Oralist, the three other finalists, the Best Brief writer, and the runner-up Best Brief writer with awards at the celebratory banquet following the final round.
(2014 Davis Competition Finalist Loren Peck arguing before 2014 Davis Competition Judges: Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain, and Judge Albert Diaz)
2015-2016 Important Dates
August 26: Appellate Advocacy Primer - This meeting is mandatory for all Davis Competition participants. We will discuss the grading rubrics for oral arguments and brief-writing, general rules for the competition, and answer any questions.
August 26 at 7:30 pm to August 27 at 5:00 pm: Sign Up Period - Sign up in teams or individually by 5:00 pm on Thursday, August 27. A Google doc link for the sign-up sheet will be distributed via email.
August 27 at 7:00 pm: Release of the Davis Problem - The Davis problem will be released and participants will receive an e-mail informing them whether they will be Petitioner or Respondent for the brief.
September 11 at 5:00 pm: Davis Brief Due - Deposit one hard copy outside of the Moot Court Boardroom and submit an online copy on Sakai by 5:00 pm.
September 14 - September 20: On-Brief Oral Argument Rounds - Participants will argue the side on which they wrote their brief.
September 23 - September 30: Off-Brief Oral Argument Rounds - Participants will argue the side opposite of which they wrote their brief.
October 8 - October 11: Quarterfinal Rounds
October 15 - October 16: Semifinal Rounds
October 29 at 7:00 pm in the Moot Court Room: Final Round
2015 -2016 Competition Materials
John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Competition Rules (2015-2016)
Scoring Ballot for Briefs
Scoring Ballot for Oral Arguments
Videos of Past Davis Competitions
Skilling v. United States - Oral Argument
Circuit Rider Uses of Oral Argument by Barry Sullivan
Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States
2014-2015 Best Brief
2014-2015 Best Brief Runner-Up
2013-2014 Best Brief
2013-2014 Best Brief Runner-Up
Appellate Advocacy Competition Administrators
Kyle Fontaine (firstname.lastname@example.org); Aaron Siegrist (email@example.com)