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Youth & Government: Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Overview

There are 3 requirements for each Judicial team:

  • Submit a brief for both cases and both sides of each case (total of 4 briefs) online
  • Attend the Pre-Conference.
  • Attend the NC YMCA Youth Legislature Conference in February

As a Judicial participant, you will serve in three different roles at the conference

  • As an Attorney, you will work solo or with a partner to write briefs and make oral arguments before an appellate court. (A brief is simply a written argument)  Each attorney or attorney team will also make oral arguments representing a party that is either appealing a decision (seeking a reversal of a previously made decision) or opposing an appeal (seeking affirmation of a previously made decision).
  • As a Guest Judge, you will serve on a panel with the Associate Justice presiding over the court room and one additional guest judge. Each judge is responsible for reading the parties’ briefs, preparing for and participating in an oral arguments, deliberating and helping to issue a final decision.
  • As a Clerk, you will keep time in your assigned court room and help to maintain order in your assigned courtroom

By the time the conference begins, you should have experience with the following procedures:

  • Understanding how to read a case (October/November)
  • Using case law to support or refute arguments (November/December)
  • Writing briefs (December)
  • Presenting an argument (December/January)

While at the conference, you will argue each of your cases in assigned courtrooms according to the courtroom schedule. Each case will last no more than 20 minutes. Each presentation is considered part of an ongoing tournament. Win-loss records will be maintained by Associate Justices. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, Associate Justices, with support from the Chief Justice, will make decisions on which are the top attorneys are for each case. Once the decision is made, the selected attorneys will present one final time.  The winning attorneys will be announced at the Closing Session on Sunday morning