PUBLISHED:April 05, 2012

Glass ’14 wins Hardt Cup

Celia Glass ’14 was awarded the Hardt Cup by a three-judge panel on April 5, following the final round of the annual moot cup competition for first-year students.

Glass and classmate Nicholas Brod argued a Fourth Amendment case before a panel comprised of Judge Steven Colloton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Judge Albert Diaz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Chief Judge Anthony Scirica of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

All of the judges praised the quality of students’ arguments.

“All of us felt that both of you did an amazingly good job,” Scirica said. “When we started discussing this, we had a divided panel, which shows you how close this really was. Not only did you master the cases, you also anticipated the kinds of questions we would ask.”

Glass argued for the state of Florida in Jardines v. State, a case in which accused marijuana grower Joelis Jardines raised Fourth Amendment concerns about Miami-Dade police bringing a drug-detecting dog to conduct a “sniff test” at the front door of a private residence. A trial judge agreed, suppressing the evidence seized at Jardines’ home. The state of Florida appealed to a district court, which overturned the previous ruling, saying that “[t]he officer had the right to go up to defendant’s front door” and that “substantial evidence supported the . . . determination that probable cause existed.”

After Florida’s Supreme Court reversed the district court decision, the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Glass argued that the use drug-sniffing dogs constitutes “a unique method of detection that does not violate any reasonable expectation of privacy,” and that the location of the search also excluded it from consideration under the Fourth Amendment.

“There is no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the odor of narcotics emitted through the front door of a residence,” she said.

Brod argued that the case centered on “the sanctity of our homes.”

“The home is a singular location in our Constitutional landscape,” he said. “The sanctity of the home is so deeply rooted in our legal traditions that in common law the home is referred to as ‘a man’s castle.’”

Scirica said the competition mirrored the qualities of the best oral arguments, which are “a good dialogue between the bench and the advocates.”

The judges asked frequent questions of the students, and praised them for their rhetorical agility after the competition.

“You were able to stop on a dime and be responsive to the court’s questions, and that’s important,” Diaz said.

The Hardt Cup competition is comprised of three preliminary rounds, a quarterfinal round, a semifinal round, and a final round. Participation in the first round of the Hardt Cup is a mandatory component of the Legal Analysis, Research and Writing (LARW) curriculum for all 1L students. Participation in subsequent rounds, through which students can earn an invitation to join the Moot Court Board, is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. At the end of the third round, the students with the highest scores will be invited to join the Moot Court Board. The top eight finishers will continue to argue in the final round to compete for the Hardt Cup trophy.

Law students launched the Hardt Cup competition in 1964, to honor the memory of first-year student A. Lee Hardt. This year’s competition was sponsored by McGuireWoods.