“Supreme” judges to critique moot court competition

Published: March 1st, 2010

Category: Events, News, Students

Florida Moot Court Team members will showcase their oral advocacy skills to a panel of uniquely qualified judges – UF Law alumni who have served as chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. The 26th annual Maguire Appellate Advocacy Competition, formerly known as the Raymer F. Maguire Moot Court Final Four Competition, will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, March 5, in UF Law’s new Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center. The free event is open to the public. The law school community is encouraged to attend.

The goal of the competition is to provide moot court team members with useful critiques regarding their oral arguments as they prepare for the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition. This year’s team consists of David Hughes (2L), C. Andrew Roy (2L), Cary Aronovitz (3L), and Philip Moring (3L). Kevin Combest (3L) and Shelly Garg (3L) will serve as alternates.

“This competition provides our students an excellent opportunity to observe the ‘cream of the crop’ exhibit their superb advocacy skills,” said Henry Wihnyk, senior legal skills professor, director of UF Law’s Legal Research, Writing and Appellate Advocacy Department, and moot court team faculty advisor.

Providing critiques for the Maguire competition will be five retired chief justices of the Florida Supreme Court, including the Hon. Harry Lee Anstead (JD 63), Hon. Stephen H. Grimes (JD 78), Hon. Parker Lee McDonald (JD 50), Hon. Ben F. Overton (JD 67), and Hon. Charles T. Wells (JD 64).

“On this, the 100-year anniversary of the Levin College of Law, we are honored that these distinguished judges have returned to the college and given so generously of their time to help our members prepare to compete in the ABA’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition,” said Rob Davis (3L), president, Florida Moot Court Team. “We are looking forward to a very memorable event.”

Students interested in joining the Florida Moot Court Team must be entering their third semester of law school, successfully completed appellate advocacy and be in good academic standing. Once the basic criteria have been met, students must participate in an intramural competition where they write and submit an appellate brief and present two oral arguments before a panel of student and faculty judges. Those who do well in this process are selected to join the team.

The Florida Moot Court Team, founded in 1961, is governed by the Justice Campbell Thornal Executive Board, named after Justice Campbell Thornal (JD 30), the prominent Florida Supreme Court chief justice. The competition is sponsored by the Orlando office of Holland & Knight. The competition would not be possible without the support of Charles W. Abbott (JD 53), retired partner at Holland & Knight.

For more information on the Florida Moot Court Team, visit www.law.ufl.edu/students/organizations/mootcourt.