Fla. Chief Justice: Moot court team, arguments ‘excellent’
The 30th annual Maguire Appellate Advocacy Competition packed the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center courtroom wall-to-wall on Feb. 13 as the 10 a.m. starting time approached. Among the more than 100 people in attendance were five justices of the Florida Supreme Court who presided over this year’s competition. They were Chief Justice Ricky Polston, Justice Barbara J. Pariente, Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Jorge Labarga (JD 79), and Justice James E.C. Perry.
Braverman and Rizzoli LLP (petitioner) vs. Amber Holt (respondent) was the fictional case brought on appeal — regarding a legal intern who accessed and misappropriated electronic information that belonged to the firm she interned for during and after the internship.
Competitors Cullen Boggus (3L) and Jennifer Fine (2L) made oral arguments for the petitioner, and Andrew Oppenheim (2L) and DeeDee Scheller (3L) argued on for the respondent. The competitors were also supported by additional teammates Robert Sowell (3L) and Jessica Clements Andrade (3L), who will later compete in the American Bar Association competition. In the end, Fine was named Best Oralist, and Scheller, Oppenheim and Andrade were named Best Team.
“We thank the participants for excellent arguments; you’re a very good team,” said Chief Justice Polston in closing. “We thought that that you all did an excellent job. So, thank you for your hard work in your arguments today.”
Polston also noted that Labarga, who is a double Gator, was unanimously elected to serve as the next chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
On Feb. 27-29, the competitors will argue the case in the regional round in Las Vegas in hopes of winning and then advancing to the national competition.
Each year the Florida Moot Court Team competes in tournaments throughout the country. The annual Appellate Advocacy Competition is named in honor of Raymer F. Maguire, Jr., (JD 48), son of the founder of Maguire, Voorhis & Wells, P.A. and managing partner of the firm. In 1961, the competition was sponsored by the Orlando firm of Maguire, Voorhis & Wells, P.A. Then, in 1998 the firm merged with Holland & Knight LLP, which also became a sponsor of the competition.
Both Holland & Knight and Charles W. Abbott (JD 53), a financial donor to the Florida Moot Court Team, were present in Advocacy Center for the competition.