Distinguished Panel Judges Final Round of Internal Moot Court Competition

photo of Moot Court winners with judges

The 2017 Florida Coastal School of Law Internal Moot Court Final Round Competition convened Tuesday evening before a panel of distinguished judges. The competition began with 27 entrants and after two days of single-elimination rounds, two finalists emerged. The final two competitors performed oral arguments in the school’s Appellate Courtroom.

Moot Court Competitions are designed to imitate an actual court setting, with competitors arguing in front of real judges. This year’s esteemed panel of judges included:
•    Justice Peggy Quince from the Florida Supreme Court
•    Judge Scott Makar from the 1st DCA
•    Federal Magistrate Judge Patricia Barksdale from the Middle District of Florida

This year’s problem required the finalists to argue the fictitious Janus v. U.S.A. case about a “routine booking” exception to the Miranda rule. After arguing a case before the three judges, Mikaela Kidriu was awarded the winner of oral presentation with Arian “AJ” Hernandez as the runner up. Andrew Moss received an award for the best written brief.

“I enjoy these competitions because I like being able to see the future. We know we are looking at the faces of the future of our profession,” said Justice Quince.
After the announcement of the winner, the judges answered questions from the student audience and shared advice.

Question: What annoys you in the courtroom?
Justice Quince: “A person arguing who does not know the record. You should know the record better than I do.”
Judge Makar: “Oral argument is a time for the judges to ask questions; it is not a time for the lawyer to give a soliloquy. Be candid with your response.”
Judge Barksdale: “Facial expressions. Please no eye-rolling, guffawing, etc.”

Question: Can you share tips for brief writing?
Justice Quince: “Tell me the story of what went on in that case. Witnesses don’t need to be in order.”
Judge Makar: “Know your audience (its law clerks that read it first). Make it no more than 30 pages.”
Judge Barksdale: “Never use the word “disingenuous”; it makes you look like an amateur. And don’t use adverbs when writing a brief.”

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Moot Court Accomplishments


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