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Course Description

Native American Appellate Advocacy and Trial Team | L47xx

This course introduces students to the broad base and lengthy history of Native American Law including Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law and complex jurisdictional issues involving tribal, state and federal jurisdiction. This is an experience-based course that requires students to succeed at two oral arguments and write two appellate briefs. First, we will have our local DU Moot which will solve a current undecided issue in Federal Indian Law which will culminate in each advocate making their case before a panel of appellate judges. Those who earn the right, will answer the current problem and submit their brief for the National Moot, the Supreme Court, and travel to the state where the competition is occurring. The issues will always be pertinent to the state that is hosting the moot.

The second part of the course will concentrate more on focused issue spotting and oral advocacy building on the briefs submitted by the advocates for the national moot. The NNALSA Moot problem comes out by the first week in November each year and the class divides into tribal and state teams. The students move through an initial research phase, development of their briefs for each side of the issues, and eventually onto the arguments on the different Native American Law issues. The students learn how to both write appellate briefs and make the oral arguments to support those briefs.

The NNALSA Moot is based on a problem governed by Federal Indian common law, as well as, Treaties, Executive Orders and Acts of Congress regarding Indian Tribes. Each problem also deals with a current issue with specific US States and specific Indian Tribes. These issues are controlled by the host Law School who drafts the NNALSA Moot problem each year, and uses a current issue that is undecided by the US Supreme Court.

The course will include some field trips including: the 10th circuit appellate court, the Colorado Supreme Court, and years when possible based on what is currently being argued in front of the US Supreme Court, a trip to DC to see those oral arguments.

Prerequisites: N/A
Credit Hours: 3
ULW: This course meets the Upper Level Writing requirement. (ULW)


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Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208

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