Third Annual Chief Justice First-Year Oral Argument Competition

Congratulations to the participants in the Third Annual Chief Justice First-Year Oral Argument Competition!

To quote the record, and the participants’ client, “We did it!” And yes, the thirty-one participants in the Third Annual Chief Justice First-Year Oral Argument Competition did just that!  The participants argued on behalf of their client, Alexis Miller, who was found guilty of conspiracy to bribe a public official, all because she did not respond to a text message.  The sole question on appeal was whether the omission to answer a letter or spoken word is admissible as evidence of the truth of such statements against the party receiving it.  A timely issue, as here in Florida, the District Courts of Appeal are split on whether the omission is admissible.

Ryan Arnett, Thomas Banks, Ashaley Boatwright, Kathryn Bonti, Kyle Boutin, Alexander Busvek, Matthew Ceriale, Deanna Cipriano, Ryan Dittmar, Boone Forkner, Kelly Hawk, Travis Hearne, Emily Johnson, Erik Kauk, Haviland Kebler, Joseph Kemmerling, Luke May, Alex Mendez, Faith Nawara, Sonya Nazzal, Laurence Proffitt, Justine Roof, Nyonnohwleh Seekie, Austin Sigl, Kelley Thompson, Assita Toure, Tyler Troyer, Brielle Tucker, Nick Walter, Alaina Wilson, and Max Yarus all participated in the Competition.  They were given a fact pattern, three cases, and the law on admissions by a party opponent, and the students needed to prepare a five-minute oral argument that would be presented in front of Moot Court justices and members, and Moot Court alums.  And all this without the benefit of taking R&W II!

After two preliminary rounds, the following students advanced to the two semifinal rounds: Ashaley Boatwright, Kathryn Bonti, Alexander Busvek, Deanna Cipriano, Kelly Hawk, Haviland Kebler, Joseph Kemmerling, Kelley Thompson, Tyler Troyer, Brielle Tucker, and Max Yarus.

And then five students advanced to the final rounds:

And after arguing in front of a panel of judges including Professor Allen, Professor Bowman, Professor Flowers, and alum Jeremy Bailie, the results were

  • First place:      Joseph Kemmerling
  • Second place:  Kathryn Bonti
  • Third place:     Ashaley Boatwright
  • Fourth place:   Brielle Tucker
  • Fifth place:      Max Yarus

Congratulations to all! A very special thank you to the Executive Committee of this Competition—Jeremy Bailie, Chad Burgess, and Jonathan Hart (all three previous Chief Justices of the Moot Court Board) for helping to plan this year’s competition and writing the problem.  And last, but not least, thank you to Professor Allen, Professor Flowers, and Jeremy Bailie for judging the final round!

Professor Bowman