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Florida Coastal School of Law Triumphs Once Again at CBA Moot Court Competition

The CBA’s Young Lawyers Section again sponsored its Annual Moot Court Competition on November 15-17, 2014, at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. In the competition's thirty-third year,  20 law schools, from Chicago and around the Country sent 30 teams to participate in the Competition.  William Cassidy, Britney Horton and Matthew Dukes, students of Florida Coastal School of Law, Team 1, were awarded “First Place” in the overall competition. In addition, the team was awarded “Best Brief”. The “Best Oralist” award was presented to Alida Fong of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Each team 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.  The teams were asked to examine the case on the merits and address complicated issues of constitutional rights juxtaposed with governmental administrative concerns.