The main purpose of the 10-Error Rule is not to punish, but to make sure that Hastings students present a professional and competent work product. To achieve consistency throughout the sections, graders adhere to the following guidelines. These guidelines provide the consistency needed to achieve an equal playing field for all Moot Court students.
Final briefs must contain no substantive errors. Substantive errors include citing a case incorrectly with respect to its holding, reasoning, or precedential status. Graders have a certain amount of discretion in determining when a holding has been twisted so far as to constitute a substantive error. We want to encourage creativity, but clear errors must be prevented. The TAs and Professors work together to correct the student briefs and to encourage the students to be as error-free as possible.
Final briefs must less than 10 technical errors. Technical errors include: grammatical errors, incorrect spelling, improper capitalization, obviously improper usage of verbs, pronouns, etc. The same error repeated consistently is counted as one error. If, for instance, the word "Court" is improperly capitalized four out of ten times in the brief, there is only one error. A case that is misspelled or improperly abbreviated in the same way more than once, also counts as one error. If a case is improperly abbreviated, it is one error. If, however, a case is improperly abbreviated on one page and misspelled on another, there are two errors. For multiple errors to count only once, they must be "the same." Incorrect spacing in two different cites counts as two errors.
Any comments or questions concerning the Ten-Error Rules are welcome. Please contact your TA or Professor at any time. Thanks for your hard work!