The 2019 Case

AMC3 is a program TISL created to fill a gap between the moot court in law school and successful mock trial programs for high school and college students. Participation is limited to college students who are not in law school.

Legal teams of two to five members argue each side of a hypothetical case before the Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court.

Important Dates

November 7

Briefs Due

November 21-22

November 23

November 24

Preliminary Round

Cordell Hull Building

Semifinal Round

State Capitol

Championship Round

Supreme Court Building

Important Notes

  • We are excited to announce a couple of significant changes to the rules this year. These changes have been made based on advisor and participant feedback. We encourage you to visit the rules page under AMC3 before you begin preparing with your team.

  • Participating schools are limited to one team of 2-5 students.

  • The briefs will be scored separately from the oral arguments, but are still mandatory to compete. The brief will be used in the oral arguments scoring ONLY in the case of a tiebreaker.

  • A separate award for Best Brief will be announced.

  • The schedule will be fixed before the competition begins. Any team that fails to appear before a five minute grace period will be considered an automatic forfeit. 

  • Briefs and arguments may reference cases outside the closed List of Authorities insofar as they are quoted by a case in the List of Authorities.

  • You aren't expected to Shepardize Cases in the List of Authorities.

  • Teams aren't identified by college name during oral arguments.

  • Teams should not brief or argue the qualified immunity doctrine. That legal concept is beyond the scope of the problem.

  • Teams should assume that the fictitious Seventeenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court on the same grounds and reasoning provided in the district court’s summary judgment order. As a result, the parties are now arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States. Teams should assume that a petition for writ of certiorari was granted on exactly the same issue that was raised below.

The Brief

Each team submits a brief two weeks before the competition. Download MS Word template for brief. We strongly recommend preparing your brief in Microsoft Word. Alternate applications such as Google Docs frequently break the formatting.

Please submit your brief in a PDF format.

The Problem

Appellant, Martha Bullock, is the widow of Seth Bullock, deceased, and personal representative of his estate. Mrs. Bullock resides in the Town of Deadwood in the State of Dakota Territory. Mr. Bullock was a patient at the Deadwood Psychiatric Hospital operated by Dakota Territory Department of Mental Hygiene, under the direction of Appellee E.B. Farnum. During his stay at the hospital, Mr. Bullock was placed in the Short-Term Care Unit under the direction of Appellee Dr. Dan Dority. This case arises from Appellant’s 18 U.S.C. § 1983 suit claiming that Appellees violated decedent’s due process right of personal security under the Fourteenth Amendment. Mrs. Bullock claimed that Deadwood Psychiatric violated Mr. Bullock’s due process rights of liberty and security when they unduly restrained Mr. Bullock without giving treatment and when they failed to protect him from the violent acts of a fellow patient. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The district court found in favor of Defendants Farnum and Dority, and Mrs. Bullock now appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventeenth Circuit.

The Issue



Whether a state owes affirmative constitutional duties of care and protection, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, to individuals voluntarily admitted to state custody.


Teams will prepare a brief and oral arguments.



There are two downloads. The first download contains the full technical record from depositions to Certiorari plus the List of Authorities. The second is a closed List of Authorities. Lawyers may reference cases outside the List of Authorities insofar as they are quoted by a case in the List of Authorities.

Bullock v. Farnum

PDF Case History

Case Authorities

Zip Folder

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