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Smith Hulsey & Busey Co-hosts 43rd Annual Florida-Georgia Moot Court Competition

University of Florida law students emerge victorious in 2023

The annual Florida-Georgia / Hulsey-Gambrell Moot Court Competition returned for its 43rd year on October 27 at the Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse in Jacksonville.

The competition between students from the University of Florida College of Law and the University of Georgia School of Law is held annually on the eve of the Florida-Georgia football game and has become a tradition in the Jacksonville legal community. This year, the Florida Gators emerged victorious in the courtroom (though the football team did not fair as well).

Two law students from each school competed in a mock case before the U.S. Supreme Court and made their appellate arguments before a panel of federal and state court judges from the two states. Sam Budnyk and Logan Edwards represented the University of Florida; Jake Shatzer and Sandon Fernandez competed for the University of Georgia.

The victors earn the championship trophy to keep at their law school for the year. The tournament record now stands at 26 wins for Georgia, 12 wins for Florida and five ties.

The participating judges in this year’s competition were:

  • The Honorable J. Randal Hall, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
  • The Honorable Lisa Godbey Wood, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
  • The Honorable Waddell A. Wallace, III, Circuit Court, 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida
  • The Honorable Harvey L. Jay, III, Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal
  • The Honorable Joe Boatwright, Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal

Each year, law firms Smith Hulsey & Busey and Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP sponsor the event in memory of the late Mark Hulsey, a partner with Smith Hulsey, and the late E. Smythe Gambrell, a founding partner of Smith Gambrell. Gambrell was president of the American Bar Association and the American Bar Foundation. Hulsey served as president of The Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association. Both were exceptional lawyers and leaders in their communities.

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