Fordham Law Wins Championship at National Criminal Procedure Tournament

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On November 8, Fordham Law’s moot court team bested the competition in numerous categories at the 2020 National Criminal Procedure Tournament hosted by the University of San Diego. Fordham captured the National Championship, Best Respondent’s Brief, Third Best Oralist (out of 60 competitors), and First Place Overall.

This was the first team to roll out of the box in the Fall Moot Court season. Team members Emma McGrath ’22 and Jack Barton ’22 argued seven arduous rounds until they reached the Championship Final, competing remotely. 

The first issue was whether a state officer’s modified Miranda warning violated the Miranda v. Arizona Fifth Amendment holding, and whether this deficiency tainted later statements to a federal agent. The second issue was whether presenting Miranda deficient statements in pre-trial proceedings violates the Fifth Amendment’s ‘’use in a criminal case” under Chavez v. Martinez.

Professor Maria Marcus, who mooted the team members by Zoom, commented, “I was particularly impressed with Barton’s knowledge of British parliamentary history and ability to bring passion to what might otherwise seem rather dry. McGrath was notable for her fluid and articulate approach, calmly persuasive at every turn.”

The team’s student editor, Megan Mahoney ’21, added: “McGrath came to the competition with the ability to distinguish each fact in the record. She faced fierce questioning from the bench, yet she never faltered in maintaining the best position for her side. Barton’s familiarity with the breadth of the issues allowed him to cater his arguments to the specific concerns of the bench while seamlessly advocating for his side’s interests.”

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