Big Crowd Watches 67th Annual Moot Court Showcase Argument

Author: Kevin Allen

A standing-room-only crowd packed into the Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom recently at Notre Dame Law School for the 67th Annual Moot Court Showcase Argument.

Two teams of advocates argued a fictitious U.S. Supreme Court case that focused on two questions. The first question was whether a court, in determining the reasonableness of a use of force by an officer during an arrest, should consider only the fact and circumstances at the moment of the use of force or should also consider the relevant facts and circumstances leading up to the moment of the use of force. The second question was whether individuals, including those with no formal affiliation to the press, have a First Amendment right to record police officers acting in public.

Nicholas Schilling, Brittany Ehardt, and Jeffrey Schmidt served as advocates for the case’s petitioner: an undercover police officer named Harry Piper. Sean McAuliffe, Christina Milanese, and Lauren Shumate served as advocates for the respondent: Luna Lockwood, an environmental activist. All of the advocates are 3Ls.

“Moot Court provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to develop their brief writing and advocacy skills,” said Christine Venter, director of the Legal Writing Program at the Law School and Moot Court adviser. “It is especially gratifying for our students to perform these skills in front of such well-respected judges, who so generously give the students the benefit of their time and expertise.”

The Supreme Court for the Moot Court case consisted of Judge Alice Moore Batchelder of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court Judge John Blakey ’88, ’92 J.D., and Chief Justice Matthew Durrant of the Utah Supreme Court.

Batchelder, Blakey, and Durrant praised both teams of advocates for the quality of their written and oral arguments.

“I commend all of you,” Batchelder said. “If you want to come to the 6th Circuit, you are welcome.”