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The TBA YouTube Video Contest
The Least Dangerous Branch: The Importance of a Fair & Impartial Judiciary
Overview & Theme
In Federalist Paper No. 78, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the judiciary is “the least dangerous” branch of government because it “has no influence over either the sword or the purse.” A central principle of our U.S. form of government is that judges should be able to reach decisions free from political pressures. The framers of our Constitution organized our government so that judges would have a proper measure of protection from the executive & legislative branches. This structure allows the court to make fair and impartial judgments in cases free from influences of the two political branches. We do not have strict majority rule in this country – when the will of the majority is contrary to individual rights as guaranteed by the Constitution, the role of the courts is to protect and uphold these rights of the individual.
Middle and high school students are invited to participate in the Tennessee Bar Association's 3rd Annual YouTube Video Contest and create a 3-minute video that explores the issue of a fair and impartial judiciary:
- Why is it important to have a judiciary that is independent of the legislative and executive branches?
- How does this structure strengthen the doctrine of separation of powers?
- How high should the walls between the three branches be?
- What happens when judges aren’t fair or impartial?
- Considering the powers granted to the three branches and the checks and balances each branch has over the others, would you agree with Hamilton that the judiciary is “the least dangerous branch”? Why or why not?
Students will compete for cash prizes and an opportunity to show their video to leaders of the state’s legal community. Please see the contest’s rollout video for additional information about our theme.
Web Resources for Students
- American Bar Association Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, http://www.abanet.org/judind/home.html
- American Judicature Society, http://www.ajs.org/cji/default.asp
- Citizens for Independent Courts, http://www.constitutionproject.org
- Brennan Center, http://www.brennancenter.org/content/section/category/fair_courts/
- Frontline: Justice For Sale, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/justice
- An Independent Judiciary: Report of the ABA Commission on Separation of Powers and Judicial http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/2011_build/government_affairs_office/indepenjud.authcheckdam.pdf
- People for the American Way, http://www.pfaw.org/issues/fair-and-just-courts
In order to attract the maximum number of participants, the contest will be open to both individuals and groups in two age categories:
- Middle school students (grades 6-8)
- High school students (grades 9-12)
Cash prizes will be awarded to the individuals or groups that win in each of the two age categories listed above:
- First Prize: $500*
- Second Prize: $300
- Third Prize: $200
*$500 will also be provided to each first-prize winning sponsoring school or organization.
Winners will be notified in writing in late April 2013. The TBA will issue a press release about the winners on May 1, 2013.
First-prize winners from each age category above will have their winning videos shown to leaders of the state’s legal community at the 2013 Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention to be held in Nashville on Friday, June 14, 2013.
First prize winners may have up to (but no more than) ten (10) members total attend the ceremony. For the purpose of providing funding to attend the awards presentation in Nashville, the Tennessee Bar Association will provide a travel allowance of $500 per individual winner and $800 to any group that wins first prize.
First-prize winners must supply a DVD of their winning video to the Tennessee Bar Association no later than May 27, 2013.
This contest is open to students and groups/classes attending a Tennessee public or private high school or middle school. The contest is also open to students between the grades of 6 through 12 being home schooled within the state of Tennessee. High school is determined to be grades 9-12 and middle school is determined to be grades 6-8. A youth service organization (such as Girl Scouts, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.) may also sponsor an individual child or group to submit a video.
Any participants under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian sign the Parental/Guardian Permission Form. Participants under the age of 13 must have their contest entries submitted by an adult, whether parent, guardian or teacher. No entry will be considered complete without all the required forms and signatures.
Videos will be judged by a committee of the Tennessee Bar Association and winners must be approved by the TBA Board of Governors or its designee. Winning videos will be selected based on:
- Adherence to the Theme (15 points)
- Significance/Importance of Video Topic or Subject (15 points)
- Factual Accuracy (20 points)
- Creativity/Originality in Idea, Presentation and Interpretation (30 points)
- Overall Quality of the Production (20 points)
Scores will not be made available to entrants or sponsoring organizations.
Groups of students may participate and submit one entry on behalf of the entire group. An entry shall be considered a group submission any time two or more students participated in the creation of the entry. Groups can be two or more students from the same or different schools or classes; however, all participants must meet the requirements of eligibility. Groups will be classified as either “high school” or “middle school” according to the group member in the highest grade.
A Group Submission Cover Sheet is required in order to identify all individuals who participated in the entry. The cover sheet will also specify who is the primary contact person for the group and who will receive any cash prize should the group be selected as one of the winners. Groups must also submit a Student Entry Form for each student in the group as well as the Parental/Guardian Permission Form for any group members under the age of 18.
Steps to Enter
Eligible participants must:
- Read and agree to the contest rules.
- Submit a signed and completed Student Entry Form. All participants under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian submit the Parental/Guardian Permission Form along with their entry form as indicated. If your submission is on behalf of a group, you must include the Group Submission Cover Sheet along with the Student Entry Form and Parental/Guardian Permission Form for each group member.Student Entry Forms, the Group Submission Cover Sheet and Parental/Guardian Permission Forms are available on this page.
- Send your completed forms via mail, fax or email to:
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue North, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219
4. All completed forms must be submitted to the Tennessee Bar Association before the entry will be posted to the contest’s YouTube page.
5. Create a video clip that is 3 minutes long or less. The clip must address the theme. Judging will be based on adherence to the theme; significance/importance of topic or subject; factual accuracy; creativity/originality in idea, presentation and interpretation; and overall quality of the production.
6. Entrants are encouraged to submit a script if the narration or dialogue is fast-paced or simply to aid the judges.
7. Submit the video by uploading it to your YouTube Channel, then send your URL to TBAVideo@tnbar.org. Each video must be approved by the contest administrator before it will be made available for public view. Videos will not be approved until all applicable forms and signatures are received by the Tennessee Bar Association. You will be notified once your video has been accepted and uploaded to the Tennessee Bar Association Channel.
8. Videos from middle school students and groups must be uploaded by Friday, March 15, 2013. All applicable forms and signatures must be received by the Tennessee Bar Association by March 15, 2013.
9. Videos from high school students and groups must be uploaded byFriday, March 29, 2013. All applicable forms and signatures must be received by the Tennessee Bar Association by March 29, 2013.
10. Winners may be required to provide proof that they meet age and school grade requirements.
- Winners will be notified in writing in late April.
- Winners will be publicly announced on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
- First prize videos will be shown during the 2013 Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention to be held in Nashville on Friday, June 14.
The participant must not have granted any person or entity other than the TBA the right to use the video. All approved, submitted videos will be available to the public after the submission deadline.
Submitted videos will not be accepted or eligible if they include any content that contains or appears to contain:
- Explicitly profane or obscene material;
- Endorsement (or condones) illegal drug use, alcohol abuse or other illegal activity;
- Nudity, profanity or extreme or gratuitous violence; language will be evaluated by the TBA based on context and societal acceptability;
- Any express or implied commercial endorsement;
- Any derogatory characterization of any person or group based on age, race, color, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, marital status, mental or physical disability, citizenship, creed, national origin, physical appearance, political affiliation, union membership or other unethical or unlawful factors;
- Depictions of any conduct, language or other context deemed inappropriate by the TBA or any of the judges;
- Any real or perceived copying or infringement of another’s intellectual property rights.
Each participant is solely responsible for obtaining from all applicable individuals or entities any and all required rights, releases, consents, clearances, licenses, and other authorizations necessary to exploit and otherwise use their submitted video in any and all media. Clearances required include but are not limited to:
- Location releases;
- Releases from any person whose name, voice, likeness or persona is referenced, shown, or otherwise used in the submitted video;
If any individuals depicted are under the age of majority, participants must obtain the signature of the individuals' parent or guardian on the applicable clearance(s). By submitting their video entries, participants warrant that the submitted video and all elements contained therein do not infringe on any copyright owned by another, and/or that the content of the video is within the bounds of the fair use doctrine. Participants also confirm that to the best of their knowledge, any statements made in the submitted video are true and do not violate or infringe on the rights of third parties. The TBA reserves the right (but not the obligation) to verify that all necessary clearances have been obtained, prior to selecting the video as a finalist or winning video. The TBA may disqualify any submitted video at any time if the participant has not obtained all necessary clearances.
Conditions of Participation
- By entering, participants agree to defend and indemnify the TBA and the TBA's principals, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the contest or receipt or use and/or misuse of any prize.
- Each participant agrees that the TBA may retain a copy of the submitted video and releases the TBA from liability for any loss or damage thereto. Each participant, by submitting the video to us, also consents, approves and authorizes the TBA the right to use, broadcast, webcast, podcast, link to or from, syndicate, or otherwise exhibit or display the submitted video in its original or an altered form or format.
- Each participant grants the TBA the unqualified, unrestricted, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use his or her name, logo, marks, submission entries, and other distinctive identification in connection with promoting or marketing the contest or its theme, and future contests, materials or as the TBA determine for attorneys or the general public.
- The rights described in these official rules begin immediately upon submission of the video clip and continue indefinitely unless revoked in written notice from the TBA to the participant. The TBA has no obligation to post or display any submitted video and may at its discretion remove any submitted videos at any time.
- The participant releases the TBA from any and all claims against the participant in connection with the submitted video.
- This contest is governed by the laws of the state of Tennessee and participants consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the state and federal district courts located within and of the state of Tennessee for any causes or controversies arising therefrom.
- The TBA reserves the right to void entries it deems associated with electronic or non-electronic tampering.
- Should technical difficulties arise that compromise the integrity of the contest the TBA may cancel, modify or suspend the contest without notice. In that case, the TBA reserves the right to award the prizes from eligible entries received before the cancellation.
- The TBA is not responsible for any technical malfunction or service outage related to the contest.
- The TBA, at its own discretion, may extend the period of time for the submittal of entries. Any extension of time for the submittal of entries will be posted on this webpage.
If you have any questions about the contest, please contact Liz Todaro at 1.800.899.6993 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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