On November 13, 14 and 15, 2014, The Young Lawyers Section of The CBA held its Thirty-Second Annual CBA Moot Court Competition. This annual moot court event is a nationally recognized competition featuring teams from all over the country. Thank you to this year's committee chairs, Shawna Boothe, Jennifer Bitoy and Jeff Moskowitz, for putting together an outstanding fact problem and competition.
This year's 30 teams examined claims brought by an arrestee under the routine booking exception to Miranda and the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. The arrestee brought his claims against the Government, seeking to suppress a statement made during routine booking prior to being Mirandized, and to quash the Government’s subpoena to produce decrypted documents from a laptop found during the search incident to his arrest. The trial court denied the arrestee’s motion to suppress the statements made during the booking process because the government’s administrative purpose of record-keeping is a legitimate reason for asking whether property belongs to a suspect. The trial court denied petitioner’s motion to quash the subpoena because the court believed the contents of the computer file were a foregone conclusion and not testimonial in nature. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision. Students examined the case on the merits and address complicated issues of constitutional rights juxtaposed with governmental administrative concerns.
The final round had Florida Coastal School of Law and Pepperdine University School of Law, with the win going to Florida Coastal. Having graded briefs and judged the final round, I can attest to the excellence of the problem and the strength of the competition. Both finalists conducted themselves well and are to be congratulated.