The term "moot court" is derived from the term "moot," which is defined as follows: "to argue a case at law (as a hypothetical case) as a student in a law school." Moot court competitions are, simply put, re-creations of arguments that take place in appellate courts. Competitions can last anywhere from a single day to an entire school year and provide what many law students describe as the most intellectually challenging activity of their
. Before discussing the ins and outs of moot court competitions, let's look at the step-by-step process involved.
A moot court competition begins with either one or two students receiving a copy of a record around which the moot court competition will revolve. The record consists of a fictitious fact pattern, much like the factual record one would receive from a real trial court. The record contains documents relating to a legal action brought by one party against another party, and the students will be told which side they represent. In addition to factual material about the substance of the suit, the record will usually contain a motion for summary judgment or motion to dismiss filed by the defending party, as well as a motion to deny the first motion filed by the party who brought the original action.
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