April 1, 2014—
Next week, four Columbia Law School students will face off in the much anticipated final round of the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court competition
, testing their skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy in front of a panel of jurists from the highest courts in the nation.
Fifty-six students vied throughout the year for the chance to present legal arguments before U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Judge Carlos F. Lucero of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As well, members of the Law School community will also be in attendance in Jerome Greene Hall for the April 7 competition to show their support of the finalists.
Two second-year students and two third-year students—Benjamin A. Cornfeld ’14, Beatrice C. Franklin ’14, Phillip Cushing ’15, and Dinah M. Manning ’14—advanced to the final round where their arguments will be tested by members of the bench.
The student-written case deals with the establishment and freedom of speech clauses of the U.S. Constitution in the context of a city ordinance regulating holiday displays. Cornfeld and Franklin will argue for the plaintiffs challenging the ordinance while Cushing and Manning will argue for the city officials defending the ordinance.
The competition culminates with the judges providing feedback and awarding one finalist the Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize for the best oral presentation. Professor Philip M. Genty, who directs the Law School’s moot court program, and Steven Zundell ’14, director of this year’s Harlan Fiske Stone competition and author of the case being argued, will recognize the best final round brief.
The Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition is made possible by the generous support of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
The Stone Moot Court was founded in 1925. The competition is named in honor of Harlan Fiske Stone, who was dean of the Law School from 1910 until 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge appointed him attorney general of the United States. Stone was named to the U.S. Supreme Court the following year and was elevated to chief justice in 1941.
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