Mooting News

The Pro­ceed­ings of the NYU Moot Court Board, or just “Pro­ceed­ings,” is the online jour­nal of the NYU Moot Court Board, doc­u­ment­ing new approach­es to unset­tled legal ques­tions pro­ceed­ing from moot court activ­i­ties, par­tic­u­lar­ly law stu­dent com­pe­ti­tions.

Pro­ceed­ings aims to real­ize for the wider legal com­mu­ni­ty a ben­e­fit of moot­ing that has hith­er­to accrued only to par­tic­i­pants. As most appel­late lawyers know, one of the best ways to refine a the­o­ry of a case or an area of law is to argue about it, either with col­leagues or before law school pro­fes­sors. But stu­dent Moot Court com­pe­ti­tions, which con­sid­er some of the most inter­est­ing and intractable prob­lems in law, gen­er­ate hun­dreds of hours of for­mal, inquisi­to­r­i­al analy­sis of those prob­lems by pro­fes­sors, prac­ti­tion­ers, and judges (not to men­tion reams of legal writing)–and then, too often, the results are thrown away when the com­pe­ti­tion is over.

No longer. Pro­ceed­ings is the jour­nal where lawyers and law stu­dents can pub­lish their “test results” from the legal lab­o­ra­to­ry of moot­ing that tests both old and new approach­es to unset­tled areas of law. It aims to real­ize mooting’s poten­tial not only as a valu­able edu­ca­tion­al exer­cise, but as a pro­duc­tive forum for legal research.


In the dig­i­tal age, how should pri­va­cy con­cerns con­strain police inves­ti­ga­tions? In this Con­tri­bu­tion, Christo­pher J. Ryd­berg con­sid­ers this prob­lem with respect to forc­ing sus­pects to unlock smart­phones and speci­fici­ty require­ments with respect to smart­phone search war­rants. Ulti­mate­ly, the Con­tri­bu­tion argues that smart­phones are dif­fer­ent in kind because of the mas­sive scope of data they con­tain, and thus his­tor­i­cal doc­trines of police process will have to change to accom­mo­date the smart­phone era. 


Can antitrust law be made rig­or­ous in how it ana­lyzes whether a firm is harm­ing com­pe­ti­tion in a mar­ket? Jonathan Het­tle­man (’18) tack­les this ques­tion, which was at the cen­ter of the 2017 Prob­lem at the Glob­al Antitrust Institute’s Invi­ta­tion­al Moot Court Com­pe­ti­tion in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. His­tor­i­cal­ly, EU law imposed height­en duties on firms con­sid­ered “dom­i­nant,” with­out look­ing to the mar­ket effects of par­tic­u­lar actions. By look­ing to recent devel­op­ments in how EU law con­sid­ers rebate schemes, this Con­tri­bu­tion argues that antitrust law should con­tin­ue to build on the bur­geon­ing effects-based approach to deter­min­ing whether a firm’s con­duct fore­clos­es com­pe­ti­tion.


If a bak­er has a reli­gious objec­tion to same-sex mar­riage, would a law that doesn’t allow him to refuse to sell to a same-sex cou­ple for their wed­ding vio­late his First Amend­ment rights? In this Con­tri­bu­tion, Jesse Klinger tack­les the prob­lem of whether pub­lic accom­mo­da­tions laws — laws that pro­hib­it dis­crim­i­na­tion in the pro­vi­sion of goods and ser­vices — imper­mis­si­bly com­pel a per­son to speak. The Con­tri­bu­tion exam­ines the Supreme Court’s com­pelled speech prece­dents and argues that mes­sage attri­bu­tion is the key issue. In par­tic­u­lar, because pub­lic accom­mo­da­tions laws are con­tent-neu­tral, a speaker’s First Amend­ment rights are vio­lat­ed only if one would attribute a par­tic­u­lar mes­sage to the provider of the goods or ser­vices in ques­tion.