by Brittany Hardy
Baylor Law students Akilah Craig and John Litzler along with John Headrick, who acts as team brief writer, will leave for the Tulane Sports Law Moot Court Competition today, March 2. Team coach is Professor Rory Ryan.
This year's competition problem involves the fictional state of "Tulania" wanting to institute a sports lottery for the purpose of raising state funds.
"The Leagues" (made up of the NFL, NCAA, MLB, MLS and NBA) oppose the implementation of the sports lottery. They serve as the respondents in this case.
"We wrote the brief on behalf of the petitioner, the governor of Tulania and the director of the sports lottery," Headrick said. "Two main issues will be argued. First, a statutory interpretation issue regarding whether federal law allows for Tulania to conduct a sports lottery. Second, how the Tulania Constitution defines the term 'lottery.'"
The team submitted a brief on Jan. 10 and met to establish Craig's and Litzler's oral arguments.
"They have been practicing their oral arguments five days a week since the beginning of February," Headrick said.
These practice rounds have been judged by students, professors and a federal judicial clerk.
At the competition, Craig and Litzler will argue both sides (petitioner and respondent).
For the first four rounds, one-third of the team's score is based on the score of its brief and two-thirds is based on the oral advocates' performance.
To proceed beyond the four preliminary rounds, the Baylor Law team must place in the top 16 teams (out of 36). For the post-break rounds, the team must win a majority of the judges' ballots each round to continue.
"With four weeks of preparation under their belt, Akilah and John are prepared to be very successful at the competition," Headrick said.