Moot Court teams square off Thursday before Florida Supreme Court
By Matt Walker
The current members of the Florida Supreme Court will once again visit the University of Florida Levin College of Law to hear oral arguments in the 29th annual Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Appellate Advocacy Competition this Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center courtroom. The event is free and open to the public.
The competition will feature two teams of skilled advocates from the Florida Moot Court Team, who will later compete in the American Bar Association competition. Jessica Clements (2L), Ryan Gilbert (3L), and DeeDee Scheller (2L) will represent the petitioner. Ian Dankelman (2L), Danielle Grundt (3L), and Brandon White (3L) will represent the respondent.
“The Maguire event is an annual exhibition of our team’s oral advocacy skills and what better panel to act as judges, than the Florida Supreme Court,” said Moot Court President Dylan Shea (3L). “Any time the student body has the opportunity to interact with such esteemed members of the judiciary it is both an honor and a tremendous opportunity, and this year is no exception.”
The competitors will present legal arguments based on questions about a police detective’s qualified immunity from a civil liability arising out of the arrest of an innocent man for a sex offense. The competitors will argue this case in the regional round Feb. 14 in Las Vegas. If they win the regional round they will advance to the national round.
At the Maguire competition, the Florida Supreme Court will remember the life of former Justice Ben Overton who passed away in Gainesville on Dec. 29. Overton was a double gator and served UF Law as an adjunct professor until his passing. For more on Overton, visit http://www.law.ufl.edu/history/ben-overton-in-memoriam.
“This year’s competition is partly clouded by the sadness of Justice Overton’s recent passing,” Shea said, “however, we plan to use the opportunity to honor his memory and acknowledge his achievements. He is an example of how members of the Florida Supreme Court have consistently shown a commitment to foster the learning experiences of law students who will shortly enter the legal profession.”
One of the foremost national moot court teams, the Florida Moot Court Team competes each year at over a dozen tournaments throughout the country. The team has been a fixture at UF Law since 1909 when the college was founded, but was organized into its current form in 1961.
At that time, the Maguire Appellate Advocacy Competition was sponsored by the Orlando law firm of Maguire, Voorhis & Wells, P.A. The competition is named after Raymer F. Maguire Jr., 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 also became a proud sponsor of the competition.