BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Law students from around the country will
sharpen their courtroom techniques during Saturday's annual
National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition hosted by the
University at Buffalo Law School's Criminal Law Society held this
year in the Erie County Courthouse.
The national competition, known as the Herbert Wechsler National
Criminal Law Moot Court Competition and named after the legal
scholar who drafted the Model Penal Code, is the only national moot
court in the United States on topics in substantive criminal
Twenty-five teams from across the country will compete this
year, including two teams from UB's Law School. The competition
will continue throughout the day; the final round is scheduled to
begin around 4 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom. Among the teams
coming to Buffalo to compete are law students from Brooklyn, Duke,
University of Connecticut, Santa Clara University, University of
Denver, University of Detroit, Ohio State University, University of
Houston, Loyola Chicago and University of North Dakota.
This year's legal problems address the constitutionality and
interpretation of federal and state criminal statutes, as well as
general issues in the doctrine of federal and state criminal law.
This year's problem questions whether a district court's jury
instruction on corporate criminal liability -- a theory that
enables the government to criminally prosecute a corporation for
the illegal acts of its employees -- was legal under Supreme Court
precedent and federal law.
Final round judges include Justice Eugene F. Pigott Jr.,
associate justice of the New York State Court of Appeals, who is
judging for the third year in a row; retired Court of Appeals
Justice George Bundy Smith, Erie County Supreme Court Justice Kevin
Dillon and Federal Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman.
The competition is free and open to the public.