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Campus hosting Moot Court tournament Nov. 22-23

Posted 11/08/19

The question of whether the harvesting by police of a suspected criminal’s cell phone records violates the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment privacy protections is one of the topics that will be scrutinized by more than 60 teams of students from 17 colleges and universities at the upcoming American Moot Court Association regional tournament being held Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23 at Fitchburg State University.

The tournament pits teams of students on opposing sides of constitutional issues making arguments to panels of judges in a simulated federal appellate court. The winners of the regional tournament will proceed to the national competition being held in January at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Professor Paul I. Weizer of the Economics, History and Political Science Department coaches the Fitchburg State teams, who have a long track record of making it to the advanced rounds of the tournament.

In addition to six students from Fitchburg State, regional tournament participants include students from Bentley University; Bridgewater State University; Berea College; California State University, Fullerton; Holy Cross; Framingham State University; Liberty University; McGill University; Merrimack College; Patrick Henry College; St. Thomas University; University of Connecticut; University of Maryland-Baltimore County; Western Connecticut University; and Wheaton College.

The fictional case being argued this year concerns a defendant accused of human trafficking whose cell phone records are collected by investigators and reviewed in order to track his associations and contacts.

During the tournament, teams of students will make their arguments before panels of judges in simulated courtrooms in Hammond Hall on the Fitchburg State campus. The judges include local attorneys who volunteer their time.

The event is part of Fitchburg State University’s 125th anniversary celebration. Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, the university will be holding programs celebrating the breadth and diversity of the institution and the vitality of its campus community. Learn more at fitchburgstate.edu/125.

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