Final Round of the 18th Annual Delaware/Harrisburg Moot Court Competition Approaches
Web Editor - Published: February 27, 2008
On February 28th at 6:00pm, the Harrisburg Campus will host the final round of the 18th Annual Delaware/Harrisburg Moot Court Competition, pitting the best team from the Delaware campus against the best team from the Harrisburg campus. The Harrisburg finalists, Rebecca Knisley and Christina Fisher, will play the role Petitioners on behalf of the state, while the Delaware finalists, William M. Brennan and Lawrence Wind, will serve as the Respondents. This final round will take place at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, Chief Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania John G. Knorr, Chief Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania Carol L. Weitzel, and United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Martin Carlson will judge the competition.

In order to reach the final round, the winning team from each campus submitted a brief and triumphed in several preliminary rounds of oral competition. At the beginning of the competition, the participants on each campus were divided into teams of two and given a packet that contained the problem they would be addressing for the entire competition as well as research materials. The problem involved a case in which a police officer who stopped the suspect for swerving and failing to signal a lane change detained the suspect for a significant period of time on the suspicion that he might be involved in a more serious crime. After the officer arrested the suspect for driving with a suspended license, which was not an arrestable offense in the state, a K-9 unit arrived and found two kilograms of heroin in the car. The State Supreme Court found that the heroin was inadmissible as evidence, however, and so the object of the competition was to argue the issue before the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the final round of the Delaware Competition, William M. Brennan and Lawrence Wind, argued on behalf of the state that under the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution that the heroin should be admissible regardless of the state law, while Daniel S. Makoski and J.R. Pruden argued on behalf of the respondent, Chris Partlow. Brennan and Wind presented a compelling argument to the sitting justices, Professors Jules Epstein, Leslie Johnson, and Leonard Sosnov, that federal standards under the fourth amendment governed the situation, not state standards. In Harrisburg, the judges for the final round were Judge Bradford Charles of the Court of Common Pleas for Lebanon County, Vice Dean John Gedid, Professor Susan Chesler, and Professor Michael Dimino.