by Brittany Hardy
Baylor Law School's M.D. Anderson Foundation Moot Court Competition, an internal competition for Baylor Law students is under way and will end March 21. Sixty-nine teams entered the competition, the largest number for the internal competition. Sixteen made it to the post-rounds, which are happening now, single-elimination style.
Students from the Appellate Advocacy Course are required to participate. Many upper classmen have also chosen to compete. One incentive may be prize money; the other is simply gaining courtroom and competition experience.
Each student argues both sides of the problem, which involves 4th and 5th amendment issues.
Danielle Pape is the president of Baylor Law's Moot Court Society. It is her responsibility to oversee and administer all aspects of the competition.
"Speakers set themselves apart through researching other decisions made on similar issues," Pape said.
In the problem, an FBI agent is under suspicion of murder. The question is whether the searching of his vehicle without a warrant would be illegal if he had no opportunity to destroy any evidence. Issues come up about why the police did not obtain a warrant and whether the evidence found can be used against him in trial.
The FBI agent has also been subjected to a high-tech test that detects brain waves to determine whether the agent had experiential knowledge of the murder, bypassing a lie-detector test. Students must include in their arguments whether this test was a violation of the agent's rights.
Competitions such as this one allow students to develop into confident speakers and learn to employ persuasive and presentational skills. Preparation includes researching, practicing arguments and acquiring ideas from each other.
"Closer to the end people's arguments start to sound more similar," Pape said.
The final round takes place at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 21 in room 127. Cash prizes will be presented to finalists and semi-finalists. Additional awards will be given to the Top 10 Speakers and the Best Brief.