March 9-11, 2023
@ Arizona State University (ASU)

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
111 E Taylor St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The National Moot Court Competition brings together up to 32 teams of law students from the nation’s top law schools to argue a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Students will be challenged to brief and argue their position creatively and persuasively. $50,000 in scholarship funds will be awarded to the winning team.


2nd Preliminary CLICK HERE



Dispute: During Round 1, the other team had four people present in the room and their coach was writing notes to their students while my students were arguing. This is impermissible. Coaches should not be able to coach their students during the arguments.

Settlement: After review of the dispute and confirming that this in fact occurred, the DSB met and conferred. This is a violation of Rule J.3 of the competition rules which reads as follows:
During oral argument, no participating team member may receive assistance from any person other than team members competing in the round.
The DSB decision is to deduct 10 points from the offending team, after taking into consideration the fact that the team’s coach acknowledged the violation.

Dispute:  [The other] team had four people present during argument. Two advocates, a third team member (not participating in this round) and their coach. During the second preliminary round, when my team was arguing, one of the advocates, was writing notes on what appeared to be a print out of the record, to the non participating team member, who then wrote back, and showed it to the coach, the coach then wrote back in bright green pen, and the note was passed from the non participating student to the oral advocate. This is in direct violation of the rules, J3. Further, one of the oral advocates was relying on material which was prohibited – the Harvard brief which was visible in front of her.

Settlement:  After reviewing the Dispute and receiving a written response from the offending Team, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) has met and conferred. There are two violations alleged.  As to the passing of notes during oral argument, the offending Team confirmed the conduct.  This is a direct violation of Rule J.3 of the HNBA/VIA Moot Court Competition Rules & Procedures, which reads as follows:

During oral argument, no participating team member may receive assistance from any person other than team members competing in the round.

      The DSB decision is to deduct ten (10) points from the offending team’s score, after taking into consideration the fact that the team’s coach acknowledged the violation.

      With respect to the second violation, one team alleges the other was relying on the lower court brief during oral arguments, while the offending team stated they were using the Circuit Court opinion.  The DSB believes that, although it may have been an oversight or misinterpretation of the Rules & Procedures D.8, which prohibits the use of “any briefs” during oral arguments, an additional five (5) point deduction is fair and necessary.  If the offending Team felt that the other was violating the Rules in any way, they should have filed their own timely challenge.  Accordingly, the DSB decision is to deduct a total of 15 points from the offending team’s score.


Thank you to the law firm of Seyfarth for formulating the problem for our student competitors.


Registration Opens
Friday, November 11, 2022

Problem Release Date
Monday, December 5, 2022

Registration Closes
Monday, January 2, 2023

Briefs Due
Monday, January 30, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. ET

Competition Dates, Hosted by ASU*
March 9 – 11, 2023 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)
*Unless otherwise specified.

Thursday Competition Schedule
Check-In: 7:45 – 8:15 a.m.
Orientation: 8:15 – 9:00 a.m.
1st Preliminary: 9:45 – 11:00 a.m. / 11:20 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.
2nd Preliminary: 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. / 3:05 – 4:20 p.m.
Advancement Ceremony: 5 p.m.

Friday Competition Schedule
Quarter Final: 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. / 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Advancement Ceremony: 12:30 p.m.
Semi-Final: 2:30 – 3:45 p.m., Hosted by the Arizona Court of Appeals (1501 W Washington St. #203, Phoenix, AZ 85007)

Saturday Competition Schedule
Final: 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Hosted by the Arizona Supreme Court (1501 W Washington St. #411, Phoenix, AZ 85007)

$50,000 in Scholarships for Winners Announced @CCC2023 Gala


All team members must be members of the HNBA and the HNBA Law Student Division in order to compete in the HNBA’s Moot Court Competition. If you are not a member, please click here to sign up.

The cost to participate in the 2023 HNBA/VIA Virtual Moot Court Competition is $715 for a team of up to four individuals (including a coach/advisor). The team registration includes access to the Moot Court Competition ONLY.

Upon submission and acceptance, your designated team contact will receive additional details. If you have any questions, please contact Carla Martin, HNBA Director of Programs, at cmartin@hnba.com.

Deadline to register has passed.


Question: We’re in the source-checking stage for each others’ brief sections. One teammate saw that at least one of our sources appears to directly address a Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case, and another source might indirectly address it. Not all of us are sure if our moot problem is based on it. Rules D8 and D9 ban us from accessing some details related to the problem, presenting some obstacles to verification. D11 says we can refer to the trial and appeals court opinions on which the moot court problem is based, but the rules don’t name those cases nor their dates. Can you confirm these details, which will help clarify what not to access or use in our brief or oral argument?  If the Harvard case is it, what would you suggest we do next? We can start by reviewing our sources to take out any references to it, working to rely on other sources instead.

Response: The problem is based on Students for Fair Admissions Inc., v. Harvard, 980 F.3d 157 (1st Cir. 2020). According to Rule D.8, you may not, “in your briefs or oral argument, use, access, read, or in any way rely, on any briefs and/or pleadings filed with any trial or appellate court by the actual parties or amici on which the moot court problem is based. According to Rule D.9, you “may not use, access, read, listen to, or in any way rely on, any verbatim report, transcript, recordings or other document containing the oral argument of the actual parties or amici on which the moot court problem is based. The HNBA Moot Court Competition Rules do not prevent you from citing the circuit court opinion upon which the case is based (Harvard).  In fact, Rule D.11, in prohibiting participants and judges from referring to or citing the Supreme Court decision (assuming the decision comes out before or during the competition), specifically allows the citing and referencing of the trial court and appellate decisions leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Question: Regarding Rule D.5 of the HNBA Rules and Procedures. The Rule states that the cover page, questions presented, table of contents, table of authorities and appendices are excluded from the page count. Would this also include the statement of jurisdiction, the parties to the proceeding, and the constitutional and statutory provisions involved? Or should we not include those sections in our brief?

Response: Rule D.3 provides that “[b]riefs must comply with the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States, except as modified by these rules.”  The Rules do not prevent you from including a statement of jurisdiction, the parties to the proceeding, or the constitutional and statutory provisions.  If you decide to include any of these, they will not be included in the 25-page brief count.

Question:  In the Problem, the petitioners never raised the issue of Grutter v. Bollinger’s unconstitutionality; this issue was first raised in a dissent from the lower court.  Technically, this issue could thus not be appealed because it was not raised in the District or Circuit courts, which would render the entire first issue moot and inarguable.  Have/will judges be prepped on this issue to avoid the problem? Or must we be ready to have a response to this fatal issue?

Answer: In granting the writ of certiorari, the United States Supreme Court ordered the parties to address the following question: Should this Court overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), and hold that institutions of higher education cannot use race as a factor in admissions?  The reasons for overruling Grutter v. Bollinger may well include its unconstitutionality.  Competition participants are allowed to argue the constitutionality of Grutter v. Bollinger in their briefs and oral arguments.  Competition participants must also be prepared to address the issue (expressed as mootness in the question above) if raised by opposing counsel or a judge.

Question: On the record Petitioner does not bring up compelling interest. When we have to argue to overturn and uphold Grutter, are we prohibited from making a compelling interest argument?

Answer: You are not prohibited from making a “compelling interest” argument.  In Grutter, the court held that a school’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body is not prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, or § 1981.  Therefore, arguing that educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body are, or are not, a compelling interest seems an appropriate argument, notwithstanding that on this record the Petitioner may not have addressed the issue.




Please note that you are not considered registered until registration payment is received. Payment must be sent no later than 2 weeks from submitting this registration. If we do not receive payment in 2 weeks, your registration will be removed and you will no longer be considered as “registered” at that specific rate.

If you are unable to attend CCC2023, you must cancel your registration no later than 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, February 16, 2023. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Erika Lopez-Tello, HNBA Director of Operations, at elopeztello@hnba.com. Cancellations received on or before the deadline above will be reimbursed fully minus a $95 administrative fee. Cancellations received after Thursday, February 16, 2023, will not be eligible for a refund.

  • Failure to attend CCC2023 shall not entitle you to receive any refund or credit.
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All substitutions must be submitted in writing to Erika Lopez-Tello, HNBA Director of Operations, at elopeztello@hnba.com.

Vaccinations or Proof of Negative COVID Rapid or PCR Test Required for In-Person Attendance
The HNBA/VIA will require all in-person CCC2023 participants to either be fully vaccinated and boosted against the COVID-19 virus OR provide proof of a negative COVID rapid or PCR test taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival at CCC2023. Please refer to the HNBA/VIA COVID-19 Participation Policy & Waiver HERE.

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