Date and Time
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Warren Hall, Grace Courtroom and La Gran Terraza
The Paul A. McLennon, Sr., Honors Moot Court Competition provides an opportunity for students to develop their brief writing and advocacy skills and to test these skills in an open, rigorous competition. Organized by the Appellate Moot Court Board, the competition consists of several preliminary rounds, culminating in the final round argued before a distinguished panel of judges. This competition was established by USD Professor Michael Devitt to honor long time family friend, attorney and naval officer, Paul A. McLennon, Sr.
Hon. J. Clifford Wallace, Senior Circuit Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, Circuit Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Hon. Thomas J. Whelan, District Judge, Southern District of California
Final Round Competition - 5:30 p.m. (Warren Hall Grace Courtroom)
Dinner - 6:30 p.m. (University Center La Gran Terraza)
Case Before the Court
In Leonard McCoy v. Thomas Taylor, Respondent Thomas Taylor, a former Sheriff’s Sergeant in the Oildale County Sheriff’s Department (“OCSD”), filed a complaint against Petitioner Leonard McCoy, Sheriff of Oildale County. McCoy terminated Taylor after Taylor submitted an opinion piece to the Oildale Tribune criticizing McCoy’s controversial statements on illegal immigration. Upon his dismissal, Taylor was provided a termination letter from McCoy that listed OCSD’s justifications for removing Taylor. A copy of this termination letter was placed in Taylor’s personnel file for record keeping.
Taylor argues he was terminated for engaging in constitutionally protected speech, in violation of his First Amendment rights, and that McCoy’s termination letter contained falsities likely to place a stigma on his reputation, in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. McCoy asserts that his termination of Taylor was permissible because Taylor served in a “policymaking” position and that the statements in the termination letter were not stigmatizing nor made public, and therefore, no constitutional violations took place.
In this tournament, the United States Supreme Court will address: (1) Whether McCoy violated Taylor’s First Amendment rights by retaliating against Taylor for engaging in constitutionally protected speech; and (2) Whether McCoy violated Taylor’s Fourteenth Amendment rights by placing a stigma on Taylor’s reputation in the course of his termination.
Directions and Parking
Visitors are required to display a valid permit Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are required to pay for parking on campus. Metered parking is available in multiple locations on campus, but we recommend you park in the Mission Parking Structure which is a short walk to Warren Hall and the University Center. Visit the Paid Parking Information page for additional information.