NALSA Moot Court Competition - Lewis & Clark


1. Can students receive help with the problem before they turn in their briefs?

No. The NNALSA Moot Court rules state that students should not be receiving ANY help prior to the submission of their briefs, and help in any way is grounds for disqualification. Rule 7.1 states that: “a. Team coaches may participate in preliminary and general discussions of the problem or issues presented, judge practice oral arguments, and give critiques, strategy advice, or feedback to team members only after the brief submission deadline.”

2. Regarding details that are not included in the problem, how much leeway do we have? Are we limited to only what is in the problem or can we fill in the gaps when substantive issues are left open.

You are limited to the details that are in the problem.  

3. Since there were both petitions and cross-petitions, can you clarify for us which party is the appellant and which is the appellee?

Since this is in front of the Supreme Court, there is no appellant/appellee classification. The State of Oregon is the petitioner and Thomas Captain is the respondent/cross-petitioner.

4. What is the standard of review for this brief?

Use the standard of review that is applicable to this case, as though it were in front of the United States Supreme Court. (We are not using a modified standard of review in this case).

5. Is the Oregon “Donation Land Act of 1850” in the problem the same as the actual Oregon “Donation Land Claim Act of 1850”


6. Does the Cush-Hook Nation have a constitution?

This is not important for this problem.

7. Regarding Issue 2: since the question uses the words “notwithstanding aboriginal title”, should we not discuss aboriginal title at all when addressing this issue? 

You may discuss aboriginal title in issue two if you would like.

8. Do the members of the Cush-Hook Nation still speak their language?

This is not important for this problem.

9. Recognizing that we are limited to the details in the problem, may we discuss the general historical context related to an argument?

Use whatever information you find relevant for making your argument, but do not assume facts that are not in the problem.

10. Can we assume the “Expert witnesses in history, sociology, and anthropology” included a Cush Hook historian. elder, or traditional person?

Do not assume facts not stated in the problem.

11. May we use information from sources outside the facts regarding Oregon’s use of the Kelly Point Park area during the interim between the original title and today?

Use whatever information you find relevant for making your argument, but do not assume facts that are not in the problem.

12. The moot court problem indicates that the State filed for petition
first.  If it did, then there is a double jeopardy issue given that
the State cannot appeal an acquittal.

The State appealed issue one, Thomas Captain appealed issue two. The State is the petitioner and will argue first.