GAINESVILLE -- Law students from the University
of Florida emerged victorious in the 36th annual Florida/Georgia Moot Court
Austin Sherman and
Logan Opsahl represented the University of the Florida Fredric G. Levin College
of Law in the mock appellate court contest against the University of Georgia
College of Law. The competition is part of the tradition of the legal community
in Jacksonville specifically between the two schools. The contestants from
Georgia were Bethany Edmondson and Michael Parrish.
This contest, held
every year on the Friday prior to the football game between Florida and
Georgia, was conducted Oct. 28 at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse in Jacksonville.
Every year, the organizers
of the competition select an issue or argument before the U.S. Supreme
Court. These topics are generally unresolved matters concerning federal
constitutional law and are of current significance in society. For the
recently concluded event, one topic involved the constitutionality of a
county ordinance governing the licenses of tour guides. The other centered
on the ban against the use and possession of assault rifles and high-capacity
presented their arguments for approximately an hour before the panel of judges.
Before the announcement of winners, the panel said the decision was not
unanimous. In praising the preparation and knowledge of the contestants, the
judges noted the quality of the arguments presented by both sides
made it challenging to arrive at a decision.
panel included William Terrell Hodges, senior district judge, Ocala, William Moore, district judge, Savannah, Timothy Corrigan, district judge, Jacksonville, Marcia Morales Howard, district Judge, Jacksonville and Lisa Godbey Wood, district judge, Brunswick.
In his speech prior to announcing the
decision, Corrigan teased that his background as a Duke University alumnus
granted him the honor of being the presiding judge in the competition. He also
joked that this was “as close as we could get to neutral,” according to the Financial
News and Daily Record.
This annual mock court
competition was started in 1980 by the late Mark
Hulsey. He was then a partner at Smith Hulsey & Busey in Jacksonville and an alumnus of the University of Florida. To continue
the tradition, Smith Hulsey & Busey sponsors the event every
year with the Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP of Atlanta.