By-Laws

Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center Moot Court Board By-Laws

(The Bylaws of the Moot Court Board should be read in conjunction with the Moot Court Board Constitution.)

§ 1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF BYLAWS

1.1—Function

These Bylaws shall be the general guidelines for the operation of the Moot Court Board. They are to be construed consistently with the Constitution of the Moot Court Board and are subject to change by the Executive Committee and the Moot Court Board as specified in Article VIII of the Constitution.

1.2—Discretion of President

Where the Constitution and Bylaws are silent on a matter, the President shall have discretion to act or to direct an Executive Committee member to act on the matter in such a manner as to reasonably execute the duties of the office and to further the objectives of the Moot Court Board. Such action shall, upon motion of an Executive Committee member in a regularly scheduled or special meeting of the Executive Committee, be subject to review by the Executive Committee. Upon review, the Executive Committee, by a majority vote, may amend the Bylaws to approve or veto such future actions or may act to correct what it judges to have been an erroneous action on the part of the officer in question.

§ 2. COMMITTEES

2.1—Establishment; Function

The following committees may be established. The Moot Court Board Executive Committee shall assemble only those committees deemed necessary. The following list is provided for exemplary purposes only:

Administrative Affairs Committee: to maintain the Moot Court Board website, to publicize all awards garnered and efforts made by the Moot Court Board internal and external competition teams, and to assist other committees with such efforts. Also, to organize and be responsible for any and all social activities conducted by the Moot Court Board, including post-competition receptions and Moot Court Board meetings.

Chancellor’s Cup Committee: to administer and manage various activities in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Cup Senior Appellate Challenge (“Chancellor’s Cup”) of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Constitution and Bylaws Committee: special committee, chaired by the President, to review, revise, and propose amendments and/or modifications to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Moot Court Board.

External Teams Committee: to administer and manage all external moot court competitions. Also, to administer and manage moot court competitions for which the Paul M. Hebert Law Center is the host school.

Judicial Relations Committee: to provide volunteer judges for the various competitions hosted by the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Also, to maintain a current database of Moot Court Board alumni, and to assist other committees in maintaining an active relationship with said alumni.

Tullis Committee: to administer and manage various activities in conjunction with the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition (“Tullis”).

2.2—Chairpersons

Unless noted otherwise, the Vice Presidents will serve as the chairperson of the committee to which his/her position relates. The chairperson shall be responsible for the overall operation of their respective committee. The scope of organizational authority with respect to operation of each committee is left to the discretion of the committee chairperson. Each committee chair shall report to the President.

The committee may have a vice-chairperson, appointed by the President and approved by a majority of the Executive Committee.

§ 3. OFFICERS

3.1—Duties

In addition to any duties specified in the Constitution, the following duties are assigned:

1. President:

  • Act as chief executive officer of the Moot Court Board
  • Convene and preside over executive and general board meetings;
  • Chair the Executive Committee;
  • Chair the Bylaws Committee;
  • Hold regular committee meetings;
  • Oversee all operations of the Moot Court Board;
  • Work with and report to the Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice;
  • Strive to maintain good working relationships with the law school administration, student body, and other student organizations;
  • Develop long-range planning and policy subject to these Bylaws and the Constitution; and
  • Perform all other functions necessary and consistent with these Bylaws.

 

2. Vice President of External Competitions:

  • Oversee all teams sponsored by the Moot Court Board to external competitions;
  • Chair the External Teams Committee;
  • Hold regular committee meetings;
  • Plan and execute the external team tryouts;
  • Organize and coordinate orientation for external team members;
  • Coordinate practice schedules of the external teams;
  • Assist in reservation of rooms for practices;
  • Assist in travel arrangements;
  • Ensure each team has an appropriate level of coaching;
  • Provide external competitors with information and services regarding external competitions including:
    • Dates, times, and schedules of competitions;
    • Competition deadlines;
    • An ideal practice schedule; and
  • Perform all other functions necessary and consistent with these Bylaws.

 

3. Vice President of Internal Competitions:

  • Organize internal competitions, including but not limited to the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition and the Chancellor’s Cup Senior Appellate Challenge:
  • Organizational efforts shall include:
    • Timely communication with competitors of all aspects of competition;
    • Scheduling rooms and working with administration for logistics;
    • Working with the Vice President of Judicial Relations to coordinate volunteer judges;
    • Organizing and recruiting volunteer timekeepers;
  • Chair the Tullis Committee;
  • Chair the Chancellor’s Cup Committee;
  • Hold regular committee meetings; and
  • Perform all other functions necessary and consistent with these Bylaws.

 

4.  Vice President of Judicial Relations:

  • Work with the Vice President of Internal Competitions to determine the number of judges needed for internal competitions;
  • Contact and schedule volunteer judges for the internal competitions;
  • Maintain a list of active volunteer judges with contact information;
  • Foster relationships with local firms and alumni in order to expand the pool of volunteers available;
  • Chair the Judicial Committee;
  • Hold regular committee meetings; and
  • Perform all other functions necessary and consistent with these Bylaws.

 

5. Administrative Vice President:

  • Organize mock oral arguments for external competition tryouts in the Fall;
  • Organize 1L oral arguments for the Legal Writing Classes in the Spring;
  • Take photographs at all of the Moot Court Board events and submit photographs to the Law Center’s Office of Media Relations and Alumni Affairs;
  • Work with law school staff on posters for all Moot Court Board events;
  • Regularly update the Moot Court Board website;
  • Organize all Moot Court Board social events;
  • If necessary, manage and administer all Moot Court Board financial matters;
  • Chair the Administrative Affairs Committee;
  • Hold regular committee meetings; and
  • Perform all other functions necessary and consistent with these Bylaws.

 

§ 4. ELECTIONS

 

4.1—Participation

 

Elections of new officers will take place at the first general board meeting of the new Moot Court Board. Only new Moot Court Board members will participate in elections. However, outgoing Executive Committee members will be in attendance to facilitate the election process. In order to vote, members must be in good standing.

 

4.2—Procedure

 

Nominations will be made in accordance with the Constitution.

 

At the election meeting, each nominated member will be given three (3) minutes to present his or her platform and plans for the office to those Moot Court Board members present.

 

The outgoing Moot Court Board Executive Committee members will tabulate the votes. Votes casted in accordance with the early voting process will be considered.

The nominated candidate with the highest number of votes will receive the position.

4.3—Transitions

Newly elected officers are required to attend a special transition meeting with the outgoing Moot Court Board Executive Committee members. The date of such meeting shall be set by the outgoing President.

§ 5. GENERAL BOARD MEETINGS

5.1—Frequency

The President shall schedule and conduct at least two (2) meetings of the Moot Court Board general membership during the fall semester, and at least two (2) meetings of the general membership during the spring semester.

5.2—Order of Business

Pursuant to Article IX of the Constitution, the President shall conduct meetings of the Moot Court Board in the following manner:

There shall be an opening statement from the President including but not limited to a reading of the agenda and any other preliminary announcements.

Every officer present shall give a report regarding his or her duties and the status of his or her respective areas of responsibility. Each report shall be followed by an opportunity for members to question the officer. Officers not present shall ensure that another officer is prepared to give the absent officer’s report.

There shall be disposition of old business, and an opportunity for new business to be conducted. Old business shall consist of member approval by majority vote, where necessary, of actions of the Executive Committee, and of dispositions by majority vote of motions referred from the last meeting of the Moot Court Board. New business shall be conducted by motion, discussion and majority vote of the members or, in the discretion of the President, referral to the Executive Committee, disposal in Executive Committee, and subsequent approval of the Moot Court Board by majority vote during old business at the next meeting of the Moot Court Board.

There shall be a closing statement by the President, including but not limited to announcement of the next meeting of the Moot Court Board and also of any intervening Executive Committee meetings.

5.3—Split Meetings

Should the President or the Executive Committee decide that it is necessary because of scheduling conflicts, split meetings of the Board are authorized. Two meetings at alternate times may be scheduled in the same day. Members may attend either meeting and for the purpose of quorums and votes on business, attendance for the two meetings shall be combined. All old business conducted at the early meeting will be tabled for final disposition in the second meeting. All new business from the first meeting not referred to the Executive Committee will be tabled for final disposition in the second meeting. Members may attend and be recognized at both meetings but may vote in only one of the meetings. The rules for meetings as set forth in the Constitution as it relates to early voting shall apply.

5.4—Notification

The Executive Committee shall make reasonable efforts to notify all Moot Court Board members of all regularly scheduled meetings at least five (5) days prior to the meeting. This may include but is not limited to announcement at prior meetings or electronic communications.

5.5—Mandatory Attendance

Attendance at all regularly scheduled Moot Court Board meetings held in accordance with these Bylaws and the Constitution is mandatory for all Moot Court Board members. Excused absences for good cause may be obtained from the President prior to the meeting.

§ 6. SELECTION OF MOOT COURT BOARD MEMBERS

6.1—Selection in General

Second-year students will be invited to join the Moot Court Board on the basis of outstanding performance in the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition. The Moot Court Board shall invite deserving competitors to join the Moot Court Board.

6.2—Basis for Selection of Moot Court Board

Selection shall be on the basis of a score comprised of an individual oralist’s evaluation in the preliminary rounds weighted fifty percent and a written brief evaluation weighted fifty percent. Guaranteed spots on the Moot Court Board are reserved for those four individual participants in the final round and those two individual participants of the team with the highest brief score.

These scores shall be those given by faculty members and outside judges sitting on panels for oral arguments as well as those acting as brief graders. Moot Court Board members can participate in judging only if necessary.

The Vice President of Internal Competitions shall ensure that grading procedures are as fair and consistent as is reasonably possible, and shall submit to the Executive Committee lists ranking the competitors with respect to oral arguments and briefing according to their competition scores.

6.3—Scoring

The tabulation of final scores for second-year competitors and determination of invitation for membership shall be the joint responsibility of the Vice President of Internal Competitions and the Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice. The entire Executive Committee shall have the discretion to review any final decision of the Vice President of Internal Competitions.

6.4—Rules for Competition

General rules and procedures for the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition shall be promulgated by the Tullis Committee and shall be made available to all participants when the competition begins. The Vice President of Internal Competitions shall have discretion to interpret the rules in a manner that promotes fairness and equity with respect to the individual competitors.

See §9 for a set of baseline rules and regulations.

§ 7. MEMBERSHIP AND GOOD STANDING; EXPULSION; TRANSFER STUDENTS

7.1—Membership in Good Standing

In order to maintain membership in good standing, a member must:

(1) Pay any required dues;

(2) Attend required general board meetings and required committee meetings;

(3) Fulfill all required organizational duties as defined in the Moot Court Board Constitution and Bylaws; and

(4) Perform all committee and organizational duties as assigned.

7.2—Failure to Comply with Membership Requirements

The Executive Committee shall issue a warning to any Moot Court Board member who fails to fulfill two (2) obligations delineated in these Bylaws per scholastic year. Three (3) such unfulfilled obligations per year will result in the expulsion of the offending Moot Court Board member.

7.3— Expulsion

Members may be expelled by a two-thirds vote for noncompliance with these requirements. Notice of expulsion shall be given to the member and an opportunity to appeal the decision of the Board shall be given before final disposition. Upon final disposition, notice of expulsion will be sent to the Career Development Office and the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs.

7.4—Transfer Students

Transfer students may be invited to join the Moot Court Board provided that:

(1) The student is at least in the equivalent of the Law School’s second or third year program;

(2) The student was a member of the transferring law school’s Moot Court Board; and

(3) The invitation to join is based on majority vote of the Executive Committee.

§ 8. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

8.1—Function; Membership

The Executive Committee shall be the managing body of the Moot Court Board and shall have the power to act for the Moot Court Board in all matters consistent with these Bylaws and the Constitution. It shall be composed of those persons specified in the Constitution.

8.2—Meetings

The President shall schedule and conduct a meeting of the Executive Committee at a minimum two (2) times a semester.

8.3—Voting

The President shall have no vote in the Executive Committee, except that in the event of a tie, in which the President shall cast the deciding vote.

8.4—General Board Member Attendance

General board members may attend Executive Committee meetings and be recognized to speak at such meetings, but the Executive Committee shall have discretion to exclude members before it votes on any matter. Only members of the Executive Committee, as specified in the Constitution and these Bylaws, shall vote in any Executive Committee proceeding.

8.5—Order of Business

Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution and these Bylaws, the President shall chair the Executive Committee and conduct Executive Committee meetings as follows:

There shall be an opening statement of the President including but not limited to a reading of the agenda and any other preliminary announcements;

There shall be a reading of the minutes of the last Executive Committee;

Every officer present shall give a report regarding her or his duties and the status of her or his respective areas of responsibility. Each report shall be followed by an opportunity for Executive Committee members to question the officer. Officers not present shall see that another officer, or committee member, is prepared to give the absent officer’s report. The report of the President shall be last;

There shall be disposal of old business, and an opportunity for new business to be conducted. Old business shall consist of Executive Committee disposal by majority vote on matters deferred from a meeting of the Moot Court Board or from a previous Executive Committee meeting. New business shall be conducted by motion, discussion and majority vote of the members; and

There shall be a closing statement of the President including but not limited to announcement of the next Executive Committee meeting and also of any important intervening events.

8.6—Transition

Upon election of the officers for the following academic year, the Executive Committee will hold a special transition meeting to share the pertinent information necessary to ensure an orderly transition from old officers to new.

§ 9. INTERNAL COMPETITIONS

A. The Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition

9.1—Eligibility 

Every year, the Moot Court Board will host the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition. The Competition shall be open to all second-year LSU Law students. However, despite academic status, students are not allowed to participate in the Robert Lee Tullis competition more than once.

Every student shall participate in this competition through teams. A team must consist of two second-year LSU Law students. A team may consist of one or more L.L.M. students with the express permission of the Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice. Participants are responsible for making teams. If an individual is unable to find a teammate, the participant can sign up individually and will be assigned a teammate by the Tullis Committee if possible.

9.2—Brief Scoring

The brief will be evaluated by members of a 5-member scoring committee for knowledge of the law, style, and persuasiveness. A 100-point scale will be used. The high score and low score will be dropped, and the remaining three scores will be averaged to determine the team’s brief score. There will be one technical grader per brief that will assess citations and errors and assign a technical score.

9.3—Oral Argument

So far as possible, each oral argument will be before a panel of three (3) judges. The Final Round shall, so far as possible, be held before a panel of five (5) judges. Oral argument judges will consist of local judges, attorneys, and faculty members. Current Moot Court Board members may participate in judging but only if necessary.For each argument, each presiding judge will individually score each oralist on a scale of 0-100. Each competitor’s individual oral advocacy score for that round will be the average of the judges’ scores. The team’s total oral advocacy score will be the average of each individual competitor’s oral advocacy score for that round. After verification by the Vice President of Internal Competitions, oral scores are final and cannot be challenged

A tie shall be a precisely equal score to the second decimal place (the hundredths place). In the case of a tie, a team will advance to later rounds based on the following criteria:(1) the highest brief score; if a tie remains, then, (2) the highest single round team score; if tie remains, then, (3) the highest single individual oralist score; if tie remains, then (4) a coin flip executed by the Vice President of Internal Competitions.

9.4—Composite Score

The brief grade and oral argument grade will be weighted and combined into a composite score at the end of each Tullis round. Each composite score will not take into account the composite score(s) of previous rounds. The relative weight of the brief and oral argument used to determine the composite score will vary for each successive round, as set forth below:

a. The Preliminary Rounds: 50% Brief Grade, 50% Oral Argument Grade

b. The Octo-final Round: 40% Brief Grade, 60% Oral Argument Grade

c. The Quarter-final Round: 30% Brief Grade, 70% Oral Argument Grade

d. The Semi-final Round: 20% Brief Grade, 80% Oral Argument Grade

e. The Final Round: 100% Oral Argument Grade

9.5—Challenges by Competitors

Challenges to the rules and procedures, and appeals from all decisions made by the Vice President of Internal Competitions shall be in writing and in accordance with the rules and procedures of the competition. Notice of this right shall be given to all participants.

9.6—Appeals

Appeals for a decision made by the Vice President of Internal Competitions may be made to the Executive Committee. Notice of this right shall be given to all participants. Such appeals must be in writing and submitted to the President no later than 48 hours after the decision of the Vice President of Internal Competitions. The decision of the Executive Committee shall be rendered within one calendar week of the appeal and shall be final.

9.7—Moot Court Board Selection

The Moot Court Board will be chosen based on the outcome of the Robert Lee Tullis competition. Competitors whose scores permit them to advance to advanced rounds but forfeit without good cause shall not be considered for membership on the Moot Court Board.

9.8—Additional Rules and Regulations

Separate policies and regulations for the Tullis Competition consistent with the Constitution and these Bylaws may be promulgated by the President with the advice and consent of a majority of the Executive Committee. Notice of these rules shall be given to all participants.

9.9—Additional Rules and Regulations Binding

Any separate rules and regulations promulgated for a certain year shall be binding for that year. The Vice President of Internal Competitions shall have the discretion to interpret any matter in which the rules are unclear or silent.

B. Dean’s Cup Senior Appellate Challenge

9.10—Eligibility

Participation in the Dean’s Cup is limited to students in their final year of course study at the Louisiana State University Law Center. Despite academic status, students are only allowed to participate in the Dean’s Cup once.

All members of the Moot Court Board, with the exception of the President and the Vice President of Internal Competitions, may compete in this competition. Any such members may not participate in the administration or scoring of this competition in any way until such time as they are eliminated. Eligible students must prepare for and compete as individuals in this competition. No teams will be permitted.

9.11—Competition Procedures

This competition shall simulate oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court. All rules and procedures of the United States Supreme Court shall apply. Where the rules of the Chancellor’s Cup and any other rules conflict, the rules of this competition shall control.

This competition is based on the competitors’ skill at oral argument. Competitors shall not be required to undertake any writing in conjunction with this competition, and no written material by competitors shall be considered in judging this competition.

Each round of the competition will consist of oral argument in a case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court, to be selected by the Moot Court Board and the Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice.

9.12—Challenges by Competitors

Challenges to the rules and procedures, and appeals from all decisions made by the Vice President of Internal Competitions shall be in writing and in accordance with the rules and procedures of the competition. Notice of this right shall be given to all participants.

9.13—Appeals

Appeals for a decision made by the Vice President of Internal Competitions may be made to the Executive Committee. Notice of this right shall be given to all participants. Such appeals must be in writing and submitted to the President no later than 48 hours after the decision of the Vice President of Internal Competitions. The decision of the Executive Committee shall be rendered within one calendar week of the appeal and shall be final.

9.14—Additional Rules and Regulations

Separate policies and regulations for the Chancellor’s Cup consistent with the Constitution and these Bylaws may be promulgated by the President with the advice and consent of a majority of the Executive Committee. Notice of these rules shall be given to all participants.

9.15—Additional Rules and Regulations Binding

Any separate rules and regulations promulgated for a certain year shall be binding for that year. The Vice President of Internal Competitions shall have the discretion to interpret any matter in which the rules are unclear or silent.

C. Withdrawal Policy

9.16 – Withdrawal Policy

A registered participant in any internal competition who withdraws within forty eight (48) hours of their scheduled competition round(s), without being excused (e.g., family or medical emergency) by the Director of Advocacy Programs, may be subject to disciplinary action by the Law Center.

§ 10. EXTERNAL COMPETITIONS

10.1Tryout Process

The Moot Court Board will hold one tryout a year to choose teams for the external competition teams. The tryout will proceed in three stages: (1) All students must submit a completed application, resume, and writing sample; (2) An oral argument practice will be conducted to prepare for external team tryouts; (3) The Moot Court Board will hold external team tryouts.

10.2—Brief Submission

For purposes of team tryouts, brief submissions must align with the following:

1. Each second-year student must submit the portion of the Tullis brief for which he/she was primarily responsible (e.g., each partner briefed one issue). All second-year students must turn in a Tullis brief and participate in the Tullis competition in order to tryout for an external competition team. Outside of emergency circumstances, students who drop out of the Tullis competition will not be allowed to tryout.

2. All third-year students who participated in the Tullis competition in their second year    must submit the portion of their second-year Tullis brief for which he/she was primarily       responsible (i.e. each partner briefed one issue).

3. All third-year students who did not participate in the Tullis competition their second     year and are trying out for the first time in the third year must submit a one-issue brief using the current Tullis problem. This brief must contain all required sections set forth in the current Tullis Rules and Regulations. The third-year student has the discretion to choose which issue that he/she will brief. Each year, the Vice President of External Competitions will set the due date for submission.

10.3—Application and Resume

Applicant shall submit an application provided by the Moot Court Board. Applicant shall also submit an updated resume.

10.4—Team Selection

Members of the external teams will be chosen by the attorney coaches and faculty advisors for each team. Considerations for choosing members include oral argument, writing sample, resume, and unique dynamics of the team.

10.5—Additional Rules and Regulations

Separate policies and regulations for the external team tryouts consistent with the Constitution and these Bylaws may be promulgated by the President with the advice and consent of a majority of the Executive Committee. Notice of these rules shall be given to all participants.

10.6—Additional Rules and Regulations Binding

Any separate rules and regulations promulgated for a certain year shall be binding for that year. The Vice President of External Competitions shall have the discretion to interpret any matter in which the rules are unclear or silent.

§ 11. CODE OF CONDUCT

11.1—Standard of Conduct Expected of Moot Court Board Members and Participants in Internal and External Competitions

It will be considered ethical misconduct for a member of the Moot Court Board, including the Executive Committee, to:

(i) Commit an act that reflects badly on the member’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a member of the Executive Committee and/or the Board;

(ii) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;

(iii) Engage in conduct that seriously interferes with the Executive Committee’s ability to responsibly administer Board activities, including, but not limited to, moot court competitions;

(iv) State or imply an ability to improperly influence Board members involved in administering or judging moot court competitions; and/or

(v) Knowingly assist any Board member in conduct that is a violation of this rule.

Violation of this rule may result in expulsion from the Moot Court Board and/or disqualification from any moot court competition in which an individual is participating pursuant to § 7.3.

11.2—Standard of Conduct Expected of Internal and External Competitors

It shall be considered misconduct for any participant in the internal or external moot court competitions to:

(i) Commit any act in violation of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center Honor Code;

(ii) Engage in conduct that seriously interferes with the Executive Committee’s ability to responsibly administer Board activities related to moot court competitions;

(iii) State or imply an ability to improperly influence Board members involved in administering or judging moot court competitions;

(iv) Verbally abuse, or otherwise seriously mistreat, insult, or demean fellow participants, chair(s), or judges of the participant’s competition; and/or

(v) Knowingly assist any other participant in conduct that is a violation of this rule.

Notice of this rule shall be given to all moot court competition participants. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification, subject to review by the Executive Committee as provided in these Bylaws, from the competition in which the participant is competing. Notice of the disqualification will be sent to the Career Development Office, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Participants may appeal a decision to disqualify under §§ 9.6 and 9.13 of these Bylaws.

These Bylaws were adopted by the 2015-2016 Moot Court Board at its general board meeting in April 2016.