Florida-Georgia moot court going virtual

The annual competition between the law schools will be live on YouTube and Facebook.

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The annual Florida-Georgia Hulsey-Gambrell Moot Court Competition is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 30, with a new format because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, instead of appearing at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse, the students will compete remotely, presenting their arguments via Zoom before a panel of federal judges.

“That’s the way the law schools and the judges wanted it,” said attorney Lanny Russell, an organizer of the event.

The competition between students from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and the University of Georgia School of Law is convened on the eve of the Florida-Georgia football game and is a tradition in the Jacksonville legal community.

The victors receive the championship trophy to keep at their law school until the next competition. Georgia leads the series record 24-11 with two ties.

The appeal this year concerns whether a noncitizen’s due process rights are violated during an immigration proceeding in which the immigration judge fails to inform the noncitizen of the available remedies and whether a state conviction for endangerment of a child constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude.

The participating judges in this year’s competition are:

• U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Georgia Stan Baker.

• U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Florida Brian Jordan Davis.

• U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Georgia Lisa Godbey.

• U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Florida Marcia Morales Howard.

• U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Judge Charles Wilson.

Law firms Smith Hulsey & Busey in Jacksonville and Smith Gambrell & Russell in Atlanta sponsor the event in honor of the late Mark Hulsey, a partner with Smith Hulsey & Busey, and the late E. Smythe Gambrell, a founding partner of Smith Gambrell.

The competition will be livestreamed on the Smith Hulsey & Busey YouTube channel and via Facebook Live.