Each team is required to submit 13 copies of a one-page brief outlining their arguments. Your brief should state the following:
- Brief Facts of the Case
- Issue or Issues that the Court must decide
- The main arguments that will be made by each team member (basically your roadmap)
Why a Brief?
Your class has been divided into five groups. Obviously, only one group can present at a time. So what should the others do while that one group is presenting? The answer is sit as the Supreme Court and decide the case! Each oral argument will be run as follows:
- The group giving their presentation will distribute copies of their brief to the remainder of the class.
- The group that is due to present next will be given the option to leave the room and use this time to prepare for their presentation.
- The remainder of the class will sit as silent judges (I am the only judge who gets to ask questions). As silent judges your job is to listen to the arguments and consider how you would rule on the issues presented.
- At the conclusion of the presentation, I will take the group that just presented out into the hall and give each participant some feedback on their presentation.
- While we are out in the hall the remained of the class will individually write down how they would rule on the issue and be prepared to explain why.
- I will then re-enter the room and start the deliberations by asking each person to say how they voted and give one reason why they voted that way.
- We will then have a discussion whereby the Justices start challenging some of the reasons put forth by Justices who came to a different conclusion.
- You will have 15 minutes to conduct this exercise. At the end I, as Chief Justice, will once again take a vote to see if anyone has changed their mind
- I will then ask the group to re-enter the room and announce the decision of the Court and give the vote tally.
- At the conclusion, I will explain how the real Supreme Court ruled on the case.