Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

David Schizer, Dean of Columbia Law School, just committed an emotional tort against me. I predict years of pain and suffering, for which I demand compensation.

I am, as you may know, doing Moot Court this semester. Minutes ago, I received the following terse e-mail from the Dean (judges omitted for maximum dramatic value):

"Please note that this year's Moot Court final arguments have been scheduled
for Monday, April 10. We are very pleased to have the following
distinguished judges on the panel:


The competition will take place in JGH 104 from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. A
reception will immediately follow in Drapkin Lounge.

David Schizer"

I just turned in my Moot Court brief today. It's a matter of statutory interpretation that asks the judge to depart from the plain meaning of a statute (though not necessarily in an unreasonable way; I ask them to use a plausible reading, if not the most natural one). My argument comes largely from policy, custom, and legislative intent. We've been waiting for an announcement on when we'll be doing oral arguments, so it's not unreasonable to think this e-mail's about us. Odd to get this from the Dean, but whatever.

And here are the honorable judges who will be presiding over the moot court arguments, according to Dean Schizer:

Judge Edith B. Clement, a George W. Bush appointee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana.

Judge Pierre N. Leval, a Clinton appointee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City

Justice Antonin Scalia, of the U.S. Supreme Court.

As you might imagine, my heart stopped. My first ever oral argument before the meanest and toughest questioner on the Supreme Court, arguing a case in which I'm arguing for everything he's against.

Needless to say, Dean Schizer's e-mail excluded vital information (as his e-mails tend to). This the final argument for the optional upper-division Honors Moot Court program, which makes sense.

Nonetheless, that won't stop me from having years of nightmares about being a first year law student making an oral argument that I haven't prepared arguing for a policy-based departure from a statute's text before Antonin Scalia. In my underwear.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on February 6, 2006 3:32 PM.

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