Scott Makar recieved a barrage of tough questions while arguing his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court in March, but the toughest one came from his 7-year-old son Aaron, who watched in the courtroom with his mom, Nancy Hogshead-Makar.
“Did you answer them right?” was the first thing Aaron wanted to know as he greeted Makar (JD 87) on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court after oral arguments.
While Makar wasn’t able to answer Aaron’s question at that moment, he can now.
In June, the court ruled 7-2 in favor of Makar, who represented the Florida Department of Revenue in Fla. Dep’t of Revenue v. Piccadilly Cafeterias, Inc.
“It really is awe inspiring,” said Makar of the historic courtroom and its architecture. “It’s very intimate, but also has this grandeur about it. It’s a very comfortable environment in which to argue a case.”
Makar argued the case as Florida’s solicitor general, a post he was appointed to by Attorney General Bill McCollum (JD 68) in February 2007.
Makar is the third to hold the position, which was established in 1999 and whose term coincides with the attorney general’s four-year term.
As solicitor general, Makar oversees civil appeals in all state and federal courts involving Florida interests, serves as legal policy adviser to the attorney general, and teaches at Florida State University College of Law as the Richard W. Ervin (JD 28) Eminent Scholar. The eminent scholar chair was named after a former Florida attorney general.
Makar’s interest in teaching began during his time at the University of Florida, when he taught the undergraduate business law course at the College of Business while juggling earning two master’s degrees in business, a law degree, and a Ph.D. in economics.
As a law student he founded the Journal of Law and Public Policy, a multidisciplinary journal that allows students both in the Levin College of Law and other colleges around campus to tackle current law and policy issues. The journal which celebrated its 20th anniversary in the spring, gives students another opportunity to participate in a law journal at UF.
“Law review had just cut their invited membership in half, from top 10 percent to top 5 percent, leaving many law students without a similar educational opportunity. I wanted them, as well as other motivated students, to have an option,” said Makar, who served on the law review and was the Journal of Law and Public Policy’s first editor-in-chief.
Makar views the solicitor general position as combining the best aspects of academic teaching and practicing appellate law.
“I consider this a capstone job,” Makar said. “This job is one of the best I could imagine ever having as a lawyer or legal educator.”