Conflicts Competition

The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center is pleased to host the first annual National Conflict of Laws Mock Trial Competition March 23-25, 2018 at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana!  In recognition of Louisiana’s uniquely bijural legal tradition as well as the increasingly complex and inter-state nature of civil litigation, the National Conflict of Laws Mock Trial Competition was created to encourage teams of law students to deal with and respond to challenging choice-of-law issues.

COMPETITION FORMAT:

The National Conflict of Laws Mock Trial Competition will take place in three parts:

  1. Part One – Motions: Teams will be provided with a set of pleadings, proposed jury instructions, and basic case documents in a hypothetical federal civil case, and each team will be asked to submit short written pretrial motions arguing a conflicts/choice of law issue based on these documents.  Teams will be asked to submit motions for both sides of the case.
  2. Part Two – Discovery: Following submission of the motions, teams will receive a ruling by the trial court on the briefed conflict of law issue(s).  (There will be no oral argument on the motions.)  Along with this ruling, teams will receive affidavits of a party witness for each side, initial disclosures identifying (among other matters) an additional non-party witness for each side, and the court’s proposed jury instructions.  Each team will then be permitted to submit written deposition questions for the two non-party witnesses, a limited number of interrogatories and/or document requests, and objections, edits, and/or additions to the proposed jury instructions.  Following submission of these documents, teams will then receive the non-party witnesses’ final affidavits, a set of final jury instructions, and any additional documentary discovery responsive to the requests made by the teams.  (All teams will receive the same materials.)
  3. Part Three – Trial: Teams will present a full mock jury trial (opening statements, witness examinations, evidentiary arguments, and closing arguments) to panels of attorney judges using the complete case file constructed over the course of Parts One and Two.

The competition will be open to a maximum of 12 law schools (one team per law school).  Each team must consist of 4 students: two students will act as counsel in each round and two students will act as the witnesses (each student must play a witness in one round and counsel in the other round during the preliminary rounds).

Teams will be evaluated on their written briefing, on the strategy and structure of their discovery requests, and on their case presentations at trial.  The top four teams based on this composite score will advance into the semifinal rounds, and the top two teams will face off in a final round.  Awards will be given to the first place team overall, second place team overall, semifinalist teams, first through third place best motions, first through third place best discovery, and first through tenth place best individual advocates.

REGISTRATION:

Registration for the 2018 Conflicts Competition is now open!  Registration is first-come, first-served, and caps at 12 schools.

To register, a school representative must submit (1) an online registration form and (2) a $250 registration fee (checks only, complete payment information will be provided following submission of the registration form).   Submission of the registration form will hold a team’s spot in the competition pending payment of the registration fee.

SCHEDULE:

  • September 5, 2017 – Registration opens.
  • September 15, 2017 – Complete competition rules released.
  • November 1, 2017 – Team Rosters due and Case Packet #1 (Basic Materials) Released to All Teams.
  • January 8, 2018 – Motions on Conflict of Laws Due.
  • January 15, 2018 – Case Packet #2 (Party Affidavits and Proposed Jury Instructions) Released to All Teams.
  • February 12, 2018 – Discovery Requests and Jury Instruction Edits Due.
  • February 19, 2018 – Case Packet #3 (Non-Party Affidavits, Additional Discovery, and Final Jury Instructions) Released to All Teams.
  • March 23-25, 2018  Competition Rounds Held in Baton Rouge, LA.
    • Team Orientation and a Coaches’ Meeting will be held in the evening on Friday, March 23 (location TBA).
    • Preliminary Rounds will be held at 9:00 am and 1:30 pm on Saturday, March 24 at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in downtown Baton Rouge.
    • A competition reception for all teams will be held in the evening on Saturday, March 24 (location TBA).
    • The Semifinal and Final Rounds will be held at 9:00 am and 1:30 pm on Sunday, March 25 at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in downtown Baton Rouge.

HOTEL INFORMATION:

Information on a hotel room block will be released in late September.  The Baton Rouge airport (BTR) is served by American, Delta, and United; a number of additional airlines serve New Orleans (MSY), which is approximately one and a half hours driving distance from Baton Rouge.

QUESTIONS:

Please contact Prof. Jeff Brooks at jeff.brooks@law.lsu.edu or (225) 578-6635 with any questions.