The Florida Bar

News Releases


May 4, 2023
CONTACT: Jeff Doran, [email protected]
The Florida Bar

TALLAHASSEE – The final rounds of the 2022-2023 Florida Bar High School Appellate Brief Writing & Moot Court Competition were held in Tallahassee on May 2-3. The two-part program offered a unique opportunity to learn about the appellate process and what it is like to present a case in a true-to-life court experience. Students participating in the competition wrote briefs on a fictitious cyberbullying case problem, which were graded by practicing attorneys and ten teams were invited to present oral arguments before appellate judges of the First District Court of Appeal on May 2. A statewide final round between the top two teams was held at the Florida Supreme Court the following day, May 3.

“We were glad when The Florida Bar’s Law Related Education Committee and Appellate Practice Section decided to revive the popular high school moot court competition, first started in 2009”, said Florida Bar President Gary Lesser. “In the past, we saw participants continue to succeed far beyond high school and we are excited to see what this year’s competitors’ futures hold.”

The State Champion of this year’s Appellate Brief Writing and Moot Court Competition was Matthew Rodriquez and Jacob Zeng. Led by attorneys Nikki Laurie and Laura Burkhalter, the team from American Heritage School – Broward, was judged the best in Florida by four Florida Supreme Court Justices in the final round and presented $1,000 scholarships by the Appellate Practice Section of The Florida Bar.

Also recognized were: Competition Finalist, Taeyoung Kim and Charlotte Wu, also from American Heritage School – Broward. Wu was also recognized as the Best Oralist in the Final Round.

Awards were also presented at the conclusion of the first day appellate rounds. Competing in the preliminary rounds were two student teams from the following high schools:

American Heritage School – Broward

American Heritage School – Palm Beach

Bell Creek Academy – Hillsborough

Lake Howell High School – Seminole

Estero High School – Lee County

The best brief award was presented to Taeyoung Kim and Charlotte Wu from American Heritage School – Broward. Kim also received the award for the best oralist for the preliminary round.

The Florida High School Appellate Brief Writing and Moot Court Competition program is designed to provide students the opportunity to learn critical thinking skills, legal reasoning, analysis and professionalism, in addition to the structure and function of the courts and legal process. Visit The Florida Bar Moot Court page for more information. Links to the broadcasts of the competition are posted on this page.

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