Grossman and Doerr champions of fall 2015 internal moot court competition
Third-year students James Grossman and Brandt Doerr are champions of the UND School of Law fall Moot Court Intra-Appellate Competition. The final argument between Grossman and Doerr (Petitioner - Salvatore Assante) and second-year students Amanda Tucker and Samantha Olson (Respondent - United States of America) took place on Tuesday, November 3.
The participating teams had the distinct privilege of arguing the final round to the North Dakota Supreme Court in the Baker Courtroom. The educational experience of arguing before the Supreme Court is invaluable for the student teams. Immediately following the argument, the justices provided feedback to the competitors about their individual presentations.
Thirteen teams of second- and third-year law students participated in this year’s internal competition. Winners of the individual awards are as follows:
Intra School Champions – James Grossman and Brandt Doerr
Best Oralist Final Round – James Grossman
Best Oralist Respondent (preliminary round) – Samantha Olson
Best Oralist Petitioner (preliminary round) – Morgan Wagner
Best Brief Respondent – Ian Arendt and Tyler Erickson
Best Brief Petitioner – Brant Doerr and James Grossman
Follow this link to photos from the 2015 fall competition
The competition is coordinated by the UND School of Law Moot Court Association.
Case Summary For Competition
Petitioner Salvatore Assante was the Vice Principal at Rojo Grande High School. On April 14th, 2013, a student’s locker was vandalized with statements insulting her sexual orientation and gender identity. The manager of Rojo Grande’s football team, stricken with guilt, sent an email to the school’s Turn-It-In email account, and included a digital video file depicting four Rojo Grande football players vandalizing the locker. As the staff member in charge of disciplinary matters, Assante reviewed the video.
After viewing the video on his school-provided computer, Assante played the video for Principal Ari Gold and recommended the students be suspended immediately. Principal Gold insisted on waiting to make a decision until the following week. In the meantime, the four players in question represented Rojo Grande in the state semifinal game, winning a spot in the state championship.
Assante, believing Principal Gold delayed acting on the player misconduct to preserve the football program, downloaded the video from his work computer to a portable USB drive and uploaded the video to his personal laptop. He then posted the video to a social networking site and deleted the video from his computer using a tool called CleanWipe.
On May 15th, 2013, Assante left the country. When he returned, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents randomly selected his laptop for a Comprehensive Forensic Examination. ICE Agent Terrance McQuewick recognized the video and confirmed Assante uploaded the video onto the Internet. Assante was arrested, booked, and charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Assante moved to suppress evidence obtained from the laptop before trial, arguing it resulted from an unconstitutional search. The District Court denied his motion, and a jury convicted Assante. Assante appealed both his conviction and the denial of his Motion to Suppress to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighteenth Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s decisions. Assante filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, which was granted on February 23rd, 2014.
The two issues on appeal are as follows:
(1) What is the appropriate level of suspicion required to conduct a Comprehensive Forensic Examination of a personal computer in a border search?
(2) What is the appropriate interpretation of the words “exceeds authorized access” in 18 U.S.C § 1030 (a)?