Maryland Moot Court Competition

This past weekend on November 4, 2017, two of our seniors, Jamie Roa and Emily Dioguardo, competed at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Moot Court Competition, where they placed first!

At this competition, pairs of two create an appellate brief based on a hypothetical case. Competitors then present their oral argument in front of a panel of judges.

This year, the case was about a sixteen year old high school student who fired a gun into a crowd of his fellow students. He confessed about his actions and was sentenced to one hundred years in prison, with the possibility of parole at sixty eight years old.

Emily Dioguardo, one of the two seniors who competed, argued whether or not the student’s sentence for his crime was constitutional under the eighth amendment. The eight amendment states that no cruel or unusual punishment should be inflicted upon a person.

Jamie Roa, our other senior competitor, argued whether or not the student’s confession was given free and voluntary under Maryland Common Law.

Dioguardo and Roa competed against students from Mergenthaler Vocational-Techinical High School and Richard Montgomery High School before facing Northwood High School from Rockville, Maryland in the finals.

At the very end of the competition, after securing first place, Dioguardo and Roa had the chance to meet some of the judges from the panels in this competition. Check out their picture below!


(left to right) Mark Graber (University System of Maryland Regents Professor), Carla Fuentes (head of the Maryland Bar Association), competitor from Northwood HS, competitor from Northwood HS, Emily Dioguardo, Jamie Roa, and Judge Robert N. McDonald (judge in Court of Appeals in Maryland)

Not only were Dioguardo and Roa able to win first place, they had a great time doing it!

“My favorite part was when the judge asked me a question and my answer made him laugh – in a good way,” – Emily Dioguardo

Moot Court offers students a completely different view of the courtroom. Here, unlike in mock trial (for info on mock trial, click here), students prepare an oral argument and are questioned by the judge as to the basis of that argument.

“My favorite part about moot court was arguing the cases and being asked questions by the judge, and really just having a conversation with the judge,” –  Jamie Roa.

Check out our gallery with some more pictures from our competition  here !

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