Information for Hardt Cup Competitors

Registering to Compete in the Hardt Cup Tournament

Students interested in joining the Moot Court Board may opt to participate in the Hardt Cup Tournament by filling out this REGISTRATION FORM.

The deadline for opting in to the tournament is determined by the date the student completes his or her LARW Oral Advocacy Component. Students who argue for LARW on Wednesday, March 25th, through Friday, March 27th, must opt in by 11:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2015. Students who argue for LARW on Saturday, March 29th, must opt in by 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, 2015. 

Once a student opts to compete in the Hardt Cup Tournament, he or she is committed to argue in any round to which he or she advances.  Students are not permitted to withdraw from the tournament.

Required LARW Oral Advocacy Component

To complete the oral advocacy component of his or her LARW class, each 1L student will argue the case on which his or her appellate brief is based. Each student will argue twice against another member of his or her LARW section, once for the party for which he or she wrote a brief (on-brief) and once against the party for which he or she wrote a brief (off-brief). Students will receive copies of opposing briefs before their off-brief argument. Two current members of the Moot Court Board will judge and score each argument. Scores from these arguments will carry over into the Hardt Cup Tournament.

Initial Rounds of the Hardt Cup Tournament

The first round of the Hardt Cup Tournament involves an entirely new set of facts, issues, and cases wholly unrelated to the subject matter of appellate briefs completed for LARW.  Students are not required to write an additional brief or conduct independent research.  Rather, each competitor will receive problem packets containing a brief statement of the case to be argued and four to six opinions covering the relevant law 48 hours prior to his or her first argument. Competitors are not permitted to do additional research.  Their preparation must be based solely on the materials contained in the problem packet.  Competitors are barred from discussing the problem with any other student, including those who are not participating in the tournament.  Competitors need not use the entire 48 hours to prepare and are discouraged from doing so.

In the first round of the Hardt Cup Tournament, competitors argue twice, once for the petitioner and once for the respondent. 

After the first round of competition is complete, each competitor’s highest and lowest scores will be dropped.  The remaining scores for each competitor from the LARW Oral Advocacy Component and the first round of the tournament will be averaged.  The 48 competitors with the highest average scores will advance to the next round of the tournament.

The Round of 48 will proceed with the same problem in the same fashion as the first round. After this round of competition is complete, the scores previously omitted will be reintroduced and then each competitor’s two highest and two lowest scores will be dropped. The remaining scores for each competitor will be averaged.  The 22 competitors with the highest average scores will be invited to join the Moot Court Board. In addition, the 16 competitors with the highest average scores will advance to the final rounds of the Hardt Cup Tournament.

Final Rounds of the Hardt Cup Tournament

Competitors who make it to the final rounds of the Hardt Cup Tournament will be provided with additional cases relevant to the same problem used in the initial rounds. Each competitor will receive this material 48 hours prior to his or her first argument.  As in the initial rounds of the tournament, no writing is involved and no independent research is permitted.

Three final rounds will take place before the Championship round.  These rounds will include sixteen, eight, and four competitors, respectively. Competitors will argue a single time in each round in which they compete. Competitors will be randomly assigned to argue for the petitioner or the respondent in each round.

During the Sweet Sixteen round, competitors will be randomly assigned to opponents.  Following this round, the scores previously omitted will be reintroduced and then each competitor’s two highest and two lowest scores will be dropped.  The remaining scores for each competitor will be averaged, and the eight competitors with highest average scores will advance to the next round.

During the Elite Eight round, competitors will be assigned to brackets based on their average scores during the prior round.  The brackets will then be divided into two groups.  Based solely on their scores from this round, the top two competitors in each group will advance to the next round.

During the Final Four round, competitors will be assigned to brackets based on their performance during the prior round. Based solely on their scores from this round, the top competitor in each bracket will advance to the Championship

Rules for the Hardt Cup Tournament

The Moot Court Board takes its member selection process very seriously and wishes to make the Hardt Cup Tournament as fair as possible. To that end, the Board has implemented policies governing communication between members of the Moot Court Board and competitors as well as communication between competitors.  All competitors should familiarize themselves with Policy on Collaboration Among Hardt Cup Competitors and the Policy on Board Member Communications with 1Ls.

As noted above, students who opt to compete in the Hardt Cup are not permitted to withdraw from the tournament.  Students who opt to participate in the Hardt Cup are permitted to indicate their status as a Hardt Cup Participant on their resumes.  In addition, students who advance to the final rounds of the tournament may so indicate on their resumes.  Students who complete only the mandatory LARW Oral Advocacy Component may not reference the Hardt Cup on their resumes.

Members of the Moot Court Board will score competitors using the following Scoring Guidelines.

Training Sessions

The Hardt Cup Coordinators will offer training sessions on the mechanics of oral argument to students early during the month of March.  The date and time of these training sessions vary by LARW section.

Those who wish to view a video of the required training session may do so here. The slides used during that training session may be downloaded here.

Those who wish to view a video of the optional advanced skills session may do so here.  The slides used during that session may be downloaded here.

If you have any questions regarding the Hardt Cup Tournament, please contact the Hardt Cup Coordinators at hardtcup2015@gmail.com. 

Sample Oral Arguments

Students are invited to view previous Championship Rounds of the Hardt Cup as an introduction to the mechanics of oral argument, as well as videos of actual appellate arguments.  

 

 

2015 Hardt Cup Dates

  • Training Session, LARW Sections 1–4, Monday, March 2
  • Training Session, LARW Sections 5–8, Thursday, March 5
  • Advanced Training Session, Wednesday, March 18
  • LARW Component, Wednesday, March 25 through Saturday, March 28
  • First Round, Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31
  • Round of 48, Thursday, April 2
  • Sweet Sixteen, Monday, April 6
  • Elite Eight, Tuesday, April 7
  • Final Four, Tuesday, April 7
  • Championship, Thursday, April 9