2017 Competition Details

Below you will find the information  you need to participate in this year's competition. Please direct all questions to buffalomootcourtboard@gmail.com.

The Mugel Competition is open to J.D. students at all ABA-accredited law schools. Each school may enter one or two teams. Each team consists of two law students. Both team members must participate in writing a brief prior to the competition and in presenting oral arguments at the competition. Each team will be randomly assigned to write a brief on behalf of the petitioner or the respondent. Schools sending two teams will have one team write the petitioner's brief and the second team writes the respondent's brief.

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Dates, Deadlines & Schedule

Registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis based on the postmark date on a team's registration form. Schools wishing to register more than two teams should indicate so on the registration form, but admission of additional teams will be subject to availability of spaces. One coach per admitted team may attend the oral advocacy competition.

Teams will be given a number after they register and before the brief is released.  This number will determine whether the team is writing for the petitioner or the respondent.  All briefs must be submitted electronically to buffalomootcourtboard@gmail.com.

  • Registration Deadline - January 14, 2017
  • Problem Released - January 15, 2017
  • Questions re: Problem Due - February 5, 2017
  • Briefs Due - February 15, 2017
  • Questions re: Oral Argument - February 20, 2017
  • Team Pairings Announced - February 24, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Mugel Competition - February 25, 2017

Past judging panels have included Federal Magistrate judges, Federal Tax Court judges, state court judges, prominent attorneys, and distinguished law professors from around the country.

In the preliminary rounds, each team will argue at least once on-brief and once off-brief. In the elimination rounds, teams will be assigned to argue for the petitioner or respondent based on seeding. The Mugel Competition will conclude with an awards banquet on the evening of Saturday, February 25, 2017. Competitors will be eligible for awards recognizing excellence in brief writing, individual oral advocacy, and overall team performance.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Arrival of teams into Buffalo, NY
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Information Packets and Questions with Competition Directors in Hotel Lounge at Hilton Garden Inn

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Competition Site at Erie County Court House
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. - Preliminary Round 1
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. - Preliminary Round 2
12:15 PM – 1:15 p.m. - Complementary Lunch Served Announcement of Semi-finalists
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. - Semi-final rounds (Top 4 teams advance)
3:15 - 5:00 p.m. - Final round (Top 2 teams advance)
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. - Awards Banquet at Hilton Garden Hotel Inn, Buffalo, NY Complementary Dinner and Drinks served

More Information

For additional information, including sample problems from past Mugel Competitions, please contact buffalomootcourtboard@gmail.com.

Hotel Arrangements

The awards ceremony/banquet will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn. Teams are encouraged to reserve rooms at this hotel.

We’ve chosen this location due to their close location for traveling convenience to/from the Erie County Courthouse.

Other hotel options in the area include: the Hyatt Buffalo, and the Adams Mark. We encourage where your team is staying to reserve as early as possible.

More Information

For additional information, including sample problems from past Mugel Competitions, please contact buffalomootcourtboard@gmail.com.

Problem Clarifications

Question: I have an additional question about the problem.  Fact 1 states that J. Ronald rump is the sole shareholder of Taxpayer.  Fact 3 goes on to say that Ronald Stump owns 97% of the stock in Stump, Inc. ("Taxpayer") and that his three kids each own a single share.  Based on the legal issues in the question, it seems that we should base our argument around fact 3 and not fact 1.  Is this correct?

Answer: Stump owns 97%. The kids own the rest.

Question: I have a quick question about the Mugel Problem.  Paragraph 1 of the facts state that the taxpayer is an S-Corp.  Issue 2 of the problem is about the shareholders of the corp taking too high of a salary, which the Commissioner is arguing is a disguised dividend.  However, S-Corps are pass-through entities, and thus the commissioners argument would be in the inverse, that the shareholders did not take a large enough salary (For various reasons including that an S-Corp does not need to take the deductions because they are not a tax paying entity and paying the shareholders via a dividend avoids the need to pay payroll taxes).  For clarification, is Stump, Inc. supposed to be a C-Corporation or S-Corporation?

Answer: C-corp