Myerowitz Competition

The 2014 Morris B. Myerowitz Moot Court Competition
March 12, 2014
Noon
Ceremonial Court Room


Winners:
Best Oralist
Doug Sampson

Runner-Up Best Oralist
Susan Schipper

Best Brief
Emily Bolyard

Runner-Up Best Brief
Connie Lee



From left to right: Christopher Chaulk, The Hon. Jenny Rivera, Susan Schipper, The Hon. Theodore McKee, Dean Phoebe Haddon, Doug Sampson, The Hon. Deborah Chasanow, and Cody Mason.

Background

This case take place in the State of Eldorado, which passed the Clean Neighborhoods Act in 2010 ("the Act"). The Act contains two provisions.

The first provision, known as the "Graphic Sign Requirement," mandates that hookah retailers post a sign displaying a picture of a diseased lung from an individual who smoked hookah and the words "WARNING: Hookah causes lung disease." The sign seeks to cure the population's misconceptions about hookah; according to a study by the Eldorado Secretary of Health, 90% of the Eldorado population believed that hookah was a safe alternative to cigarettes, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found this to be untrue.

The second "Redevelopment" provision, authorized the Eldorado Urban Development Corporation, a public-benefit corporation and political subdivision of the State of Eldorado, to use the power of eminent domain to take private property in order to promote economic growth in Eldorado.

Prior to the enactment of the Clean Neighborhoods Act, Governor Clay was approached by Bernie Lomax, a personal friend of Governor Clay and fundraiser for Clay’s gubernatorial campaign. Lomax, the owner of a serious of high-end fitness facilities, said he needed to expand his business into new locations. Governor Clay suggested he could secure an area for Lomax to construct a new gym. Governor Clay concluded that the new gym would be best located in the 100 block of Packing Street, an economically depressed but recovering area that was also the site of Frank Richard’s hookah store, Salaam. Although other owners on the block sold their property to the State, Richards refused; as a result, the EUDC began a condemnation proceeding against Richards.

During this time, as the Graphic Sign Requirement went into effect, Richards also complied with the law and posted the required sign next to his hookah display. Richards noticed a 30% decline in hookah sales.

Richards filed suit in the District Court for the District of Eldorado contending that (1) the Graphic Sign Requirement violated the First Amendment, and (2) the taking of his property violated the Fifth Amendment. The District Court ruled for Richards, but the Court of Appeals for the Thirteen Circuit reversed. Richards filed a petition of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was granted.


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved