November 02, 2016

Media Advisory -- National Health Law Moot Court

One the nation’s premier moot court competitions will celebrate its 25th anniversary this weekend when the SIU School of Law hosts the National Health Law Moot Court competition on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5. 

Twenty-nine teams from 23 law schools will participate in the competition at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Hiram H. Lesar Law Building. This is the only mock U.S. Supreme Court competition dedicated to the always evolving and expanding topic of health law, according to Cheryl L. Anderson, a professor at the SIU School of Law and director of the moot court programs. 

This year’s fictitious lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court centers on a criminal defendant who argues that while in juvenile detention for sexually assaulting a relative when he was 13, he was coerced during mandated therapy sessions into providing self-incriminating evidence of sexually assaulting a second juvenile family member. At age 17, the defendant, charged as an adult in the second case, was convicted of felony aggravated sex offenses and sentenced to 15 years in prison along with other provisions. In addition to the issue involving self-incrimination, the defendant also raises on appeal he was unable to confront witnesses against him and effective assistance of counsel. 

A link to the court record is: 

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the moot court finals on Saturday. Organizers ask that reporters and camera crews check in with Anderson no later than 3:45 p.m. for instructions on where and how the event can be recorded.  For more information before the event contact Anderson at 618/453-5634, or Alicia Ruiz, the law school’s director of communication and outreach, at 618/453-8700. 

“This year’s problem again demonstrates the breadth of health law issues, this time in the context of criminal law and mental health,” Anderson said. “The competition provides the opportunity to research and write on a cutting edge topic and argue both sides of the issue to panels of attorneys, judges, and law faculty.  It is of interest to students who wish to practice health law and to students who just want to be able to expand their research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.” 

Preliminary rounds begin at 11 a.m. Friday with 16 teams advancing to compete Saturday. Competition resumes at 9:30 a.m. with quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m., semifinals at 2 p.m., and the finals at 4 p.m.

The final round judges are: David R. Herndon, federal judge for the Southern District of Illinois and a 1977 SIU School of Law graduate; C. William Hinnant, president of the American College of Legal Medicine; and Jennifer Brobst, assistant professor at the SIU School of Law.

Participating law schools are: Albany Law School, Albany, N.Y.; Arizona Summit Law School, Phoenix, Ariz.; Boston College Law School, Newton, Mass.; Chicago-Kent College of Law; DePaul University College of Law, Chicago; Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, Ga.; Houston College of Law, Houston, Texas; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Ind; Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wis.; Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, Minn.; Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, Davie, Fla.; St. Louis University School of Law; Seton Hall School of Law, Newark, N.J.; Suffolk University Law School, Boston; Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas; UC Davis School of Law, Davis, Calif.; University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, Colo.; University of Houston Law Center; UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco; University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Baltimore, Md.; University of Tulsa College of Law, Tulsa, Okla., and West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, W.Va. 

Additional information on the event is available on the competition website

The law school’s Center for Health Law and Policy, the School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Humanities, the American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM), and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation co-sponsor the event.