A Note From Evie Spanos '11
Director / Case Author
The Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition is truly a special tradition at Columbia Law School. It brings together a cross section of the larger Law School community that often spans five decades of graduates. This year, more than 125 alumni, many of whom participated in the competition as students, returned to the Law School to judge the preliminary rounds of the competition, to share their career experiences, and to celebrate the next generation of Columbia Law School–educated lawyers.
As a former Stone participant and a Foundation Year Moot Court editor, I wanted to choose a topic for this year’s competition that would be sufficiently complex and interesting to engage students for the full six months of the competition. I became interested in the issues that I ultimately chose for this year’s topics while taking Federal Courts with Professor Trevor Morrison, where I learned about the many procedural requirements habeas petitioners face when they seek to have their convictions reviewed. In choosing these topics, I hoped to highlight areas of the law that raise difficult questions about the trade-off between the fairness of the criminal justice system and our ability to administer it.
Directing such a large competition as a student has been challenging but very rewarding. It was a great pleasure to see how remarkably talented, creative, and hardworking my fellow students can be outside of the traditional classroom context. Not only was I able to observe the many skills of my classmates, but I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many students I would have otherwise never known, including the other members of the Moot Court Executive Board.