Mooting 101 (insert something witty here)
LSS Mooting Competition • Receive problem 24 hours before • Random area of law • Usually the problem is split into two parts • Expected to prepare a written summary of arguments • Two 10 minute oral presentations
When you get the problem • Read through the problem carefully • Work out the area of law • It is often an area you haven’t studied • Brain storm ideas/deconstruct the problem • Go to the library and find text books • Don’t worry about cases yet • Break the problem into areas that each of you will study. You will almost never study/know the whole problem. • Spend a while familiarising yourself with the law • This can take a really long time, but that is ok
Preparation • Once you are familiar with the law, go back to the problem • Apply what you have learnt, see if there is anything that still doesn’t make sense • Start researching specific aspects of the problem, looking for cases and clear law • Use the library databases • Here you are constructing both your arguments, and the written submission
The submission • Judge won’t have spent much time reading the law, the problem, or your submission • Submission should be a simple, clear and logical guide to what you are going to say • No more than 2 pages (excl. cover page and list of authorities)
Formatting the Submission • FORMATTING IS ACTUALLY IMPORTANT!!! • I know, sounds super geeky, but it’s true • A cleanly formatted document makes your submission look professional, and makes you look like you know what you’re talking about • Look for examples online, provided by the LSS, from cases, wherever you think you will find a good submission, and copy them
Court Etiquette • Sounds naff, but etiquette is important. • Centres on being professional, with a couple of small idiosyncrasies. • Address the judge as ‘Your Honour’. • Stand when the judge walks in the room. • Sit once the judge has sat. • It is highly unlikely, but if the judge bows, then bow back (this would be super weird in a LSS moot, but might happen in other mooting competitions). • Print a copy of your submissions, and the facts, and present that copy to the judge before the oral submissions • See the guidebook page on etiquette. • It is better to be more formal/professional, than less.
Random Thoughts • Take it seriously • Be respectful, think of it as a real court and a real case • Remember, the judge works full time — they are giving up their time for this, so don’t half-arse it or they will be pissed • Mooting is actually fun • Scary as hell, always nerve wracking, occasionally unfair, but fun, so enjoy the comp.