Moot Court Competition History & Previous Winners
In March 2012, 37 teams addressed the question of privacy versus disclosure issues in ballot issue campaigns, and claims of judicial bias based on gay identity. Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Christine Durham, City of Houston Municipal Courts Associate Judge Phyllis R. Frye, and United States District Court, Central District of California Former Judge George P. Schiavelli presided over the final round of competition during the Williams Institute’s 11th Annual Update: Fair Play? LGBT People, Civic Participation & Political Process in April 2012. The two final teams were from University of Illinois College of Law and UCLA Law. The team from UCLA Law won the competition (pictured left).
In March 2011, 26 teams addressed the question of affirmative action with respect to sexual orientation. U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Delaware Supreme Court Justice Jack Jacobs, and Oregon Supreme Court Associate Justice Rives Kistler (pictured right) presided over the final round of competition during the Williams Institute’s 10th Anniversary Update and Celebration in April 2011. The two final teams were from UC Davis School of Law.
In January 2010, 29 teams addressed the question of religious liberty and LGBT rights. Justice Carol A. Beier, Kansas Supreme Court, Justice Joette Katz, Connecticut Supreme Court, and Justice Steven Z. Perren, California Court of Appeal (pictured below), presided over the final round of competition. For the second year in a row, Florida Coastal School of Law competed in the final round. The University of Illinois won the competition.
In February 2009, 26 teams argued for and against the constitutionality of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Presiding Justice Carol W. Hunstein, Georgia Supreme Court, Justice Virginia L. Linder, Oregon Supreme Court, and Justice Patricio M. Serna, New Mexico Supreme Court, presided over the final round of competition. Teams from NYU and Florida Coastal School of Law competed in the final round. Florida Coastal won the competition.
In February 2008, 26 team competed against each other over the topic of gay-straight alliances in public schools. The Honorable Vice Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, Arizona Supreme Court, the Honorable Justice James Graves, Mississippi Supreme Court, and the Honorable Jean Dubofsky, former Justice, Colorado Supreme Court, presided. The UC Davis team won the competition, along with the award for best oral argument. The UCLA team took home the award for best brief.
In 2007, 22 teams from across the country briefed and argued the constitutionality of restrictions on same-sex couples adopting children. The Honorable Justices Susan Owens and Barbara Madsen from the Washington State Supreme Court presided over the Final Round along with Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Fisher. Teams from UConn and NYU faced off in the Final Round, and NYU won.
In 2006, 17 teams dealt with the problem of same-sex marriage. Teams from UC Davis and Syracuse University advanced to the final round and argued in front of Steven Levinson of the Hawaii Supreme Court, J. Spencer Letts and Dean Pregerson both from the US District Court of the Central District of California. Syracuse University won the competition.
In February 2005, 13 teams from 11 schools argued for and against recognizing marriage for same-sex couples. Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt presided over the final round of competition. The team from Chicago-Kent College of Law won the competition.