Elon Law students in the Class of 2024 made appellate arguments in a fictional lawsuit that involves questions of immigration, what constitutes moral turpitude, and due process.
Let’s suppose you have permanent resident status in the United States but plead guilty to petty theft for stealing an Apple Watch and then, two years later, to involuntary manslaughter when you kill a pedestrian after being distracted by an emergency text message from family.
Does the federal government have the authority to deport you because of convictions for two crimes of moral turpitude? What if the immigration judge doesn’t inform you of options that might avoid deportation when you request to go back to your home nation should that be your “only choice”?
Such was the scenario in the appeal of a fictional case analyzed by first-year students this spring in their Legal Method & Communication courses and later used as the problem for Elon Law’s 2023 Intramural Moot Court Competition.
Seventy-two students in the Class of 2024 signed up to compete from May 22-23 with several Elon Law alumni, faculty members, and administrators joining local attorneys to volunteer as judges. Each student presented two oral arguments, one for appellant and one for appellee, and was scored on preparation, speaking ability, argument structure, and responses to judges’ questions.
The Top 10 Oral Advocates in this year’s competition:
1. Serenity Wiles
2. Ashley Cooper
3. Kiera Connolly
4. Ashley Joines
5. Catherine Bleuel
6. Emory Loescher (tie)
6. Samuel (Dalton) Collins (tie)
8. Melo Augustine (tie)
8. Emily Spitler (tie)
10. Harrison Brown
Selections for membership on the Moot Court Board will be announced this summer before the board hosts the 14th Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition in October. Moot Court Board members will also compete in a full slate of national moot court competitions during the 2023-24 academic year.
The Intramural Moot Court Competition was chaired by Megan Fallon and Andrew Slaughter, with committee chairs including Matthew Ferris, Lauren Jones, Zachary Kovach, Jacob Dippold, Alexis Holloway, Abigail Robertson, Chelsea Roseman, Todd Bowyer, Kaylee Faw, Jeffrey Harnden, and Amanda Edwards – all members of the Class of 2023.
Meghan Edwards, Campbell Kargo, and Hannah Mullen-Fox served as Legal Method & Communication Oral Argument Coordinators in the days prior to the intramural competition.