It’s routine for students at top law schools who reach the final round of a moot court competition to present their cases to a panel of active federal judges. What is not so typical is to argue a moot court case before an active justice of the Supreme Court. However, on October 18, this was the daunting task for four Cornell Law School students who had to face Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in addition to four federal judges.
Justice Sotomayor presided over the final round of the 2018 Francis P. Cuccia Family Moot Court Competition held in the Law School’s Elizabeth Storey Landis Auditorium. When the call to rise was issued to the packed room at 4 p.m., Sotomayor was flanked by the Hon. Richard C. Wesley ’74, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Hon. Steven M. Colloton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Hon. Peter W. Hall ’77, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Hon. Amy J. St. Eve ’90, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Sotomayor and her colleagues heard law students Morgan Anastasio and Ben Van Meter argue for the petitioner and Lauren Fairman and Corby Burger argue for the respondent in the imaginary case of Zeroni v. State of Myrontana. The facts of the case are based upon a real Supreme Court case that involved a number of complex constitutional questions, including whether intellectual disability is a factor relevant to the custody analysis under Miranda v. Arizona and whether the petitioner’s confession was involuntary.
In the end, it was Lauren Fairman and Corby Burger who were named this year’s Cuccia Cup champions.