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Photo by Joe Wilhelm Jr. - University of Georgia professor David Shipley; UGA law student John Eunice; Dana Bradford, managing partner for the Jacksonville office of Smith, Gambrell & Russell; Lanny Russell, Smith Hulsey & Busey shareholder; K...
Jax Daily Record Monday, Oct. 29, 201212:00 PM EST

Annual moot court competition returns with Georgia victory

by: Joe Wilhelm Jr.

It may have had a new name and a new trophy, but the University of Georgia moot court team continued its dominance of the Hulsey-Gambrell Florida-Georgia Moot Court Competition at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse.

After a one-year hiatus because of a lack of funding, the moot court competition between the two law schools continued Friday.

University of Florida Levin College of Law students Will Anderson and Matthew Goodwin and University of Georgia School of Law students John Eunice and Jocelyn Maner presented arguments to a panel of judges that included U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the 11th Circuit Peter Fay, U.S. District Chief Judge for the Southern District of Georgia Lisa Godbey Wood, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the 11th Circuit Gerald Tjoflat, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida Paul Huck and U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Georgia Avant Edenfield.

Judges said they had a tough time deciding who presented the better argument, but the panel ruled for the petitioner represented by the University of Georgia.

“It was not a very easy task for us in that room. Both sides superbly argued the case and this was one of the best problems I have seen during this competition,” said Tjoflat.

The case involved the kidnapping and murder of a 19-year-old white female college student and abortion-rights activist by a black pro-life church leader. The jury found the church leader guilty of kidnapping and murder, but after the decision was handed down, counsel was notified that two jurors had made racially biased statements during jury deliberation.

“I found that all four of you were very unflappable despite our efforts to flap you,” said Wood.

The son of one of the founders of the competition, Mark Hulsey, was on hand to watch the competition.

“My father would be very pleased that the competition is continuing and would welcome the addition of Smith Gambrell,” said Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey III.

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