November 03, 2017

Media Advisory — National Health Law Moot Court

The SIU School of Law will host one of the nation’s premier moot court competitions this weekend. The National Health Law Moot Court competition will be today, Nov. 3, and Nov. 4.  

Thirty teams from 20 law schools will participate in the competition at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Hiram H. Lesar Law Building. Now in its 26th year, 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 centers on a product liability claim against a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The plaintiff, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, contends the company marketed a generic pharmaceutical with insufficient warnings, which resulted in serious side effects not listed on the drug’s labeling.  The generic drug manufacturer alleges the plaintiff’s claims are preempted by federal food and drug law, which requires generic drug labels to be identical to those of the name brand drug.  The name brand drug updated its label, but it took the generic manufacturer six months to update its label.  A second issue involves the authority of a trial court to award attorney’s fees as costs when a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses a complaint and later refiles it in another jurisdiction. 

The court record can be found at

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the moot court finals on Saturday. Organizers ask reporters and camera crews to 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. 

“This year’s problem takes a close look at the relationship between state and federal law in regulating the safety of medications,” 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 Justice Richard P. Goldenhersh, Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois; Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly, U.S. District Court for the District of Southern Illinois, and C. William Hinnant, president of the American College of Legal Medicine. 

Participating law schools are: Baylor Law School; Chicago-Kent College of Law; George State University College of Law; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Mitchell Hamline School of Law; New York Law School; Notre Dame Law School; Nova Southeastern University; St. Louis University School of Law; Seton Hall School of Law; Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law; South Texas College of Law Houston; Suffolk University Law School; Texas Tech University School of Law; University of California, Hastings College of Law; University of Houston Law Center; University of Mississippi School of Law; University of New Mexico School of Law and University of Tulsa College of Law. 

Additional information is available on the competition website.  

The SIU School of Law, the SIU 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.