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Florida Supreme Court justices welcomed to UF Law for appellate advocacy competition

Moot Court, Florida Supreme Court

From left, Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga, Justice Peggy A. Quince, Justice Barbara J. Pariente, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice R. Fred Lewis, Justice Ricky Polston and Justice James E.C. Perry stand with UF Law students from left, Monica Haddad, Mary Katherine Tinsley, Leah Edelman, Wilbert Vancol, David Hughes and David Evans. (Photo by Nicole Safker)

By Matt Walker
Senior Writer

The University of Florida Levin College of Law welcomed all seven Florida Supreme Court justices for the 27th annual Maguire Appellate Advocacy Competition on Friday, Feb. 25, in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center courtroom.

In the fictional appeal case of Zydeco, Inc. v. Mary Macdonald, Leah Edelman (3L) and Wilbert Vancol (3L) were the petitioners on behalf of pharmaceutical company Zydeco, Inc., challenging the constitutionality of "The Drug Free Texifornia Act of 2010." David Evans (3L) and Monica Haddad (2L) were on the responding team representing Texifornia Attorney General Mary Macdonald. Alternates were Mary Katherine Tinsley (3L) and David Hughes (3L).

As the petitioners and respondents stated their cases, members of the Florida Supreme Court asked questions and challenged the competitor's arguments, allowing the team members to demonstrate their appellate advocacy skills. The Maguire Competition provides the Florida Moot Court Team with valuable practice for the upcoming American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition.

At the end of the competition, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady announced that Vancol won the award for best oralist in the competition and the best team award went to the petitioning side.

"I just want to say that we've heard some outstanding advocacy today," said Canady. "It is obvious that the people arguing here before this court today were well prepared and are skillful advocates who have a very promising future as advocates in the law, so we want to congratulate all of you."

The competition is named after Raymer F. Maguire Jr. (JD 15), son of the founder of Maguire, Voorhis & Wells, P.A., managing partner of the firm, and UF Law alumnus. In the summer of 1998, Maguire, Voorhis & Wells, P.A. merged with the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP, who continued the tradition of sponsoring the competition.

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