After another hard-fought moot court contest, Jared Hoffman ’17 again emerged the victor. On February 13, Hoffman was declared the winner and Claire O’Brien ’17 the runner up of the 2016 Faust F. Rossi Moot Court Competition, which took place in the MacDonald Moot Court Room before a panel of esteemed federal judges. Last May, Hoffman won the 2015 Langfan Family Moot Court Competition, which is open to first-year students.
The final round featured O’Brien arguing on behalf of the respondent and Hoffman arguing on behalf of the petitioner. The final round also included an award for the best brief, which went to Hannah Freedman ’16.
The debate for this year’s Rossi Moot Court competition addressed (1) whether a functionalist or formalist approach governs the extraterritorial application of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unjustified deadly force; and (2) whether existing law clearly established that shooting an unarmed Mexican citizen standing within Mexico violated the Fourth Amendment.
This year’s final round took place before the following panel of guest judges: Hon. Christina Reiss, United States District Court for the District of Vermont; Hon. Terrence Berg, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; Hon. Lawrence Vilardo, United States District Court for the Western District of New York; Hon. Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz A.B. ’74, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York; and Hon. Nancy E. Smith, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division (Fourth Department), New York Supreme Court.
“The Rossi Cup Moot Court Competition was extraordinarily argued from the preliminaries until the final round. The competitors displayed great skill and poise in the delivery of their arguments. The final round was an exhilarating contest, and at the culmination of three competitions, the outgoing board was pleased to see advocacy at Cornell continuing to go up a notch,” says Justin Ndichu ’16, Moot Court Board chancellor.
The winner of the oral competition was awarded $500 and the runner up received $250. The Best Brief Competition winner received $500.
The Faust F. Rossi Moot Competition is funded annually through an endowment established by the following alumni: Kevin Arquit, John Clarke, Paul Crotty, Marc Goldberg, Bruce Goldstein, John Mangan, Susan Robfogel, Stephen Robinson, Jonathan Weld, and Michael Wolfson. The prize for Best Brief is funded through an endowed gift from Louis Kaiser (LL.B. 1921).