This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

2017 Corporate Counsel Conference



Register for Moot Court 2016

22nd Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition

The Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition brings together over 30 teams of law students from the nation’s top law schools to argue a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. This year the competition will take place at the InterContinental Miami Hotel in Miami, FL during the Corporate Counsel Conference.

The HNBA has set aside a block of rooms for students at a reduced rate. Please contact Michelle C. Avelino, HNBA Program & Administrative Coordinator, at for instructions on how to reserve a room at the student rate.



Current Schedule as of 10/20/16. Subject to change.

Thursday, March 30

8:00 am – 9:00 amMoot Court Orientation
10:00 am – 11:15 am1st Preliminary Round
11:35 am – 12:50 pm1st Preliminary Round
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm2nd Preliminary Round
3:35 pm – 4:50 pm2nd Preliminary Round

Friday, March 31

9:00 am – 10:15 amQuarter Final Round
11:00 am – 12:15 pmQuarter Final Round

Saturday, April 1

9:00 am – 10:15 amSemi Final Round
2:00 pm – 3:15 pmFinal Round

Final Round Location:
United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
James L. King Federal Justice Building
99 NE. 4th St., #1212
Miami, Florida 33132





1/13/17 A clarification has been requested on the following questions:

  1. What is the difference between “using” and “relying on” documents of the actual parties and the amici?
  1.  With respect to #8, are the teams allowed to “use” any briefs and/or pleadings filed with any trial or appellate court by the actual parties or amiciin the moot court problem so long as the teams do not “rely on​” them? In other words, are we allowed to read,  or otherwise use, the documents cited in #8?


I refer you “Section D, BRIEFS, No. 2” which provides in part that

By signing and submitting the original brief . . . team members [certify they] have not obtained, accessed, or viewed the briefs or pleadings of actual parties or amici on which the moot court problem may be based; and . . . have not obtained, accessed, or viewed any verbatim report or other document containing oral arguments cited in the moot court problem.”

Therefore, teams may not “use” (i.e. avail oneself of) or “rely” (i.e. depend on) the briefs, pleadings or oral arguments in preparing and submitting.

1/13/17 A clarification has been requested in regards to the release and posting of previous winning briefs.


The HNBA has never released nor posted winning briefs from past competitions and will continue not to do so.

1/13/17 A clarification has been requested on whether competitors will be provided a list of cases to use for briefs and whether this is an open or closed universe.


The only cases that students should use are those already cited in the material; i.e. this is a closed universe.  It is now Open Universe.

1/23/17  A clarification has been requested on whether in the brief competitors may use cases mentioned, referred, and cited to in the cases provided in the case material.


Cases mentioned, referred and cited in the cases provided may be used.

1/25/17 A clarification has been requested on whether if there was a rule on using unreported cases in the HNBA Brief.


If a case is cited in the cases cited, it may be used, whether reported or not.

2/2/17 A clarification has been requested regarding third-party proofreading for briefs.


Rule D(2) states: “By signing and submitting the original brief . . . each team member certifies that , , , the brief . . . represents the work product of team members only.” Moreover, Rule J(1) states: “Teams may not receive any outside assistance from faculty or members of the bar in preparing their brief. The brief must be the sole work product of team members.”

2/9/17 A clarification has been requested in regards to citing to the United States Sentencing Guidelines and its commentary, can teams use the form exemplified in the Sentencing Manual.


Rule D(6) provides that “citations must conform to the most recent edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, published by the Harvard Law Review Association.” Even though The Bluebook does not present all short form citations, participants are expected to follow its rules and guidance.


2/9/17 A clarification has been requested in regards to the signature requirement in the HNBA Moot Court Competition Rules. Do the team members need to hand-write their signatures and copy them onto the brief or will a cursive font suffice. Also, do the signatures need to be on the title page, certificate of service, or both. Finally, may the students use electronic signatures on the cover page of the original brief.


Rule D(7) provides that “team members’ names and the name of their law school shall appear solely on the original brief in the lower right hand corner of the cover, and shall include the signature of each team member.” Participants must hand-write their signature on the cover page only.


3/17/17 A clarification has been requested in regards to whether Moot Court Competitors are allowed to read the Supreme Court’s opinion for Beckles  Furthermore, how should teams treat the recent ruling by SCOTUS. While the ruling isn’t dispositive of the issues presented in the moot court problem, is dispositive of any vagueness issues when those questions arise. Do the teams treat this as if the decision didn’t come out so they can argue vagueness or do they refer to the recent decision as their argument.



Since the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has now been published, neither the participants nor the judges should cite to it. The only cases to be cited are the trial court and appellate decisions leading up to that case.  However, a participant is not prohibited from reading the Supreme Court decision.


3/29/17 A clarification has been requested on whether oralists are allowed to address the recent change in the USSG statue where the commentary was actually moved into the actual text of the statue.



3/29/17 A clarification has been requested about whether teams are allowed to use the audio recordings and transcripts of arguments which SCOTUS will post on their website to Moot the students.


No student, professor or coach is permitted to listen to, let alone use or in any formulate questions based on, the oral argument presented in the Supreme Court case. The point is to motivate research, original thought, and study by the students, not to be guided by the answers counsel may give to the Justices’ inquiries.

3/29/17  A clarification has been requested in regards to how to cite to cases where the petitioner and respondent are the opposite of what they are in the Moot Court Problem. Furthermore, a clarification has been requested on whether teams would still rely on the facts of the Barnes case or are would they use the different set of facts in Beckles. If they are to use the facts in Barnes, then how can they cite to Beckles. Finally, whether participants should be using the law and analysis of the courts in Beckles and the facts of Barnes.



The styling of a criminal case on appeal to the United States Supreme Court will depend upon who lost at the intermediate appellate level. Whoever lost will be the petitioner, and therefore this party’s name will be listed first on appellate briefs to the United States Supreme Court. With this in mind, it is up to the participants to decide how and whether they wish to utilize Beckles in their analysis. It would not further the purpose of the Competition to provide participants with guidance on which facts and law to employ during their oral arguments.