Written Briefs

Brief scores shall constitute fifty percent (50%) of each team’s score in Preliminary Round One and fifty percent (50%) of each team’s score in Preliminary Round Two.

A panel of judges will score the briefs. Briefs will be evaluated anonymously and graded on a scale of one (1) to one hundred (100) points. After a team’s brief score has been determined, penalties for formatting and citation errors, as well as any penalties for rule violations, will be subtracted from the initial score given.

The following chart provides the point deductions for format and citation errors:

Non-one-inch margin 2
Non-double-spaced text and single spaced footnotes 2
Non-12-point Times New Roman font including footnotes 2
Formatting other than for Non-8 ½-by-11-inch paper 2
Non-Compliance with Rule 24(1)(a)-(j) of the Rules of the United States Supreme Court 2/per error
Pages in excess of 25 8 1/2-by-11-inch pages not including those pages discussed in Rule III(C)(2)(vii) 1/page
Competitor names or name of team including law school on any location. 1/per occurrence
Late submission of briefs to Vice Chancellors 5/day
Submission of wrong side brief 10
Failure to include brief certificate to Vice Chancellors (Includes: 1) A statement that the work product contained in all copies of the team’s brief are the work product of the members of the team only; 2) A statement that the team has complied fully with its law school honor code; and 3) An acknowledgment that the team has complied with all the Rules of the Competition). 1
Minor Citation Errors – does not impair the ability of the reader to identify or find the authority and that does not misrepresent the material. ½ point/per error
Major Citation Errors – affects the ability of the reader to find or identify the authority or misrepresents the material. 1/per error


Oral Argument

The first day of the Competition will be held at Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, 3600 John McCormack Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20064. The second day of the Competition will be at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Scoring of Oral Arguments

Each team will argue once for the Petitioner and once for the Respondent during the preliminary rounds.

The teams’ score for the preliminary rounds will be based on the score for the brief and the score for the oral argument. In Round 1 and Round 2, the brief will constitute fifty percent (50%) of the score.

For the quarterfinal rounds, the competition Vice Chancellors will randomly determine which teams argue for Petitioner and Respondent.  For the semifinal and final rounds, there will be a coin toss to decide which teams argue for Petitioner and Respondent.

The teams’ score for the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds will be based entirely on oral argument performance.

In the quarterfinal round the two teams with the highest score before each of the two panels of judges will advance to the semifinal round.  In the semifinal round the two teams that win the arguments will advance to the final round.

All scoring will be judged on a scale of 100 in whole numbers. If a judge provides a score other than a whole number, the number will be rounded to the nearest whole number. Each preliminary oral round will consist of three oral scores. There will be a minimum of two oral judges in each room. In the event that only two judges are present, the third score will be computed by averaging the two scores to create the third score. If there are three judges in the room then one score will be taken from each judge.

In the event of a tie in determining the top two teams, the following procedures will be used by the Vice Chancellors in the following order:

  • The higher place will be awarded to the team with the higher final brief score. That team will advance to the final round.
  • If a tie still remains, an average of the three oral argument scores from the three rounds (two preliminary rounds, one semifinal round) will determine the higher place.
  • In the event that either of the top two teams has not been determined, the higher place will be awarded to the team with the higher score from the “Knowledge of Key Facts” and “Use of Authorities” section of the oral competition score sheets. That team will advance to the final round.

Third place will be determined by calculating the third highest score in the semifinals.