by Joe Wilhelm Jr.
The “Dueling Deans” did not disappoint as The Jacksonville Bar Association welcomed its membership to its Georgia-Florida themed luncheon Friday.
Schedules may have been thrown off by a Friday luncheon, but The JBA worked with organizers of the Hulsey-Kimbrell Moot Court Competition to allow the competitors to mingle with members of The JBA after the conclusion of the annual courtroom contest that pits law students from the University of Florida against those from the University of Georgia.
“This was one of the best events I’ve been a part of with the moot court team,” said David Ballard, of the University of Georgia School of Law, one half of the winning team at the moot court competition. “The competition and then being able to share lunch with The Jacksonville Bar Association members and members of the judiciary was great.”
Praise wasn’t in short supply after the moot court competition, and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Susan Black doled some out when she stepped to the podium at The JBA luncheon.
“Sometimes you look around and wonder how the next generation will perform,” said Black. “If you all could have seen these students today, you would be able to see that our profession is going to be fine.”
Black announced, as presiding judge of the moot court, that in a close decision the team from the University of Georgia would be taking the Hulsey-Kimbrell Moot Court trophy back to Athens.
University of Florida Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry presented a case, based on numerous statistics, on why the Gators would win the game Saturday.
“The most important question on everyone’s mind is who will win the game Saturday,” said Jerry. “Since the beginning of the competition 30 years ago, the winner of the moot court has lost the football game about 70 percent of the time.” (Georgia lost to Florida Saturday.)
Former dean and current UGA Law Professor David Shipley was called upon to “pinch hit” for current Dean Rebecca White. Shipley joined UGA as dean in 1998 and resigned in 2003 to teach full time.
“During my tenure as dean we might not have done too well on the football field, but my moot court team was 4-1,” said Shipley. “I stumbled a little out of the gate with a loss, but reeled off four straight wins. And though I do appreciate the work Dean Jerry put into his argument as to why Florida should win the football game, I wonder if he is an actuary or an attorney.”
Shipley also commented on the how the moot court competition almost ended in a tie.
“The competition actually ended in a tie twice before,” said Shipley. Florida won last year.