News Briefs February 16, 2009

Published: February 16th, 2009

Category: News Briefs

Levin College of Law Faculty and Student Art Show

Calling all student and faculty artists. We are now accepting artwork in any medium (ie. sculpture, painting, photography) for the fourth annual Levin College of Law Faculty and Student Art Show. Artwork will be displayed in the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center. Please email digital image submissions with a brief description to Eric Berger at by Monday, March 16. Students and faculty will be notified if they are selected by late March. If you have any questions please e-mail Eric Berger or Alexis Cooper at

BLSA Trial Team earns spot in Final Four

The UF BLSA trial team recently competed in the annual mock trial competition for the Southern Region Black Law Students Association (SRBLSA) from Feb. 4-8. Held in Nashville, TN, this year’s competition pitted 25 teams from law schools throughout the southern states. UF’s team successfully argued four trials to earn a spot in the Final Four. The case involved a fraternity hazing session gone awry for one unlucky pledge. Arguing for the state were Jonathan Blocker (3L) and Guichard St. Surin (1L). Nickisha “Nicki” Webb (3L) and Alfredo Zamora (2L) advocated for the defendant fraternity president. Special thanks go to students Kailey Evans (3L), Ranaldo Allen (3L), Nicole Mouakar (3L) and Elvis Santiago (3L) for assisting the team. The team also appreciates Levin alumna and local attorney Majeedah Murad for critiquing the team’s legal arguments and trial techniques. A warm thanks also extends to researchers Brandon Sapp (1L) and Daphne Duplessis (1L) for finding invaluable case law. In 2007, UF finished first runner up at the SRBLSA competition. That same team subsequently won the national title at the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) mock trial competition a few months later. (Photo from left: Jonathan Blocker, Guichard St. Surin, Nickisha “Nicki” Webb and Alfredo Zamora)

UF National Tax Moot Court Team wins second place

The UF College of Law Tax Moot Court Team was first runner up in the The Florida Bar Tax Section 2009 National Tax Moot Court Competition. They received the award on Feb. 7, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The participants were Chris Pavilonis (3L), Nicholas Grimaudo (3L) and Joshua Landsman (2L). The team advanced through the early rounds, including victories over Widener and Suffolk. The team defeated the University of Wisconsin in the quarter finals and the University of Baltimore in the semi-finals. LSU, now three-time national champions, edged out the team on Saturday in the finals. This was the University of Florida’s first time entering the competition, which hosts 16 teams of JD students from around the country. The topic involved an attempted, but flawed, section 1031 exchange of real property and a section 721 contribution to an LLC. In competition, the team argued both sides of the issue. Each participant received an individual plaque and the college received a team plaque. The team received invaluable support and coaching from its faculty adviser Professor Steven Willis and Moot Court member Stacey Schwimmer. (Photo from left: Joshua Landsman, Nicholas Grimaudo, Judge Peter Panuthos and Christopher Pavilonis)

Introduction to Law School and the Profession 2009 Ambassador Program

Student Affairs is looking for ambassadors. Ambassadors are current students who are selected for their interest in helping new students prior to, during, and even after the ILSP. If you are interested in being a part of the ambassador team, now is the time to apply. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Feb. 17, at noon. An information sheet and application is available on the orientation Web site When you turn in your application and resume to the Office of Student Affairs, you will sign up for an interview. If you wish to be considered for a coordinator position, an additional application is required. Contact Michelle Ocepek at or 352-273-0620 for more information.