On Monday, April 7, the NYU Law Moot Court Board presented the final argument of the 42nd Annual Orison S. Marden Moot Court Competition.

Over 50 students competed in the Moot Court Fall Elimination, which is open to 2L and 3L students. Twelve advanced to the semifinals, and last week, four students presented their arguments before a bench that included Alice Batchelder, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Neil Gorsuch, Circuit Judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; and Dennis Jacobs, Circuit Judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Theresa Troupson ’14 and Julie Simeone ’14 represented the defense in Salvatore Assante v. United States of America, with William Freeland ’15 and Peter Dubrowski ’14 responding.

The case—written by Matthew Callahan ’15 and Rachel Wisotsky ’15, and edited by Mark Young ’14—addressed issues of privacy. The defendant Salvatore Assante, a high school vice principal, discovers video footage that members of his school’s football team have vandalized a transgender student’s locker. He takes it upon himself to post the video online anonymously, and then wipes his computer. When he returns from a trip abroad, his laptop is seized and searched. He is arrested and charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Though Assante claims that the evidence was obtained from his laptop unconstitutionally, he loses on trial and appeal. He files a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Counsel considered these two questions:

  • What level of suspicion is required to conduct a comprehensive forensic examination of a personal computer during a border search?
  • What is the appropriate interpretation of “exceeds authorized access” in 18 U.S.C. §1030(a) (the “CFAA”)?

The final round represented the culmination of months of hard work for these students, and the case will be published in Volume 38 of the Moot Court Casebook in November.

Posted April 17, 2014