Puerto Rican Bar Associations to Meet in Orlando
María T. Padilla
Three Puerto Rican bar associations will convene in Orlando for a joint annual convention in October, according to Anthony Suárez, president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida. It is the first time the three organizations will hold their annual conventions together, Suárez said.
From Oct. 10-11 the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida, the Puerto Rican Bar Association of New York and the Asociación de Abogados de Puerto Rico will meet at the Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista near Walt Disney World.
The joint convention will kick off with a gala on Oct. 10 but the main event is the annual moot court competition that takes place Saturday, Oct. 11. The Third Annual Moot Court is the brainchild of Suárez, who has spearheaded the event each year.
Last year the Moot Court was held in Miami, while the first one took place in St. Augustine in 2012.
“The purpose of Moot Court is to create a unique civil rights social awareness,” said Suárez. “Expansion of events means greater knowledge.”
All of the moot court competitions have focused on constitutional issues relating to Puerto Rico’s status as a United States territory. All Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
This year’s law students will argue whether the federal death penalty can be applied in cases in Puerto Rico, which does not have a death penalty.
Suárez is pushing for a national dialogue outside of Puerto Rico about issues pertaining to Puerto Rico.
“The actual target of the Moot Court is not Puerto Ricans but people who have the opportunity to influence,” he said.
The 2014 Moot Court includes law students from nine schools, the highest number ever. They are: New York University School of Law, Cornell University Law School and St. Johns University Law School, all in New York. From Florida: Nova Southeastern School of Law, Barry University School of Law and FAMU School of Law. Two Puerto Rico law schools also will be on hand, including Inter American University School of Law and the Catholic University Law School. In addition, the University of North Carolina Law School is sending a team of law students as well.
A panel of four judges has agreed to form “the bench” to judge the Moot Court competition, including Florida Supreme Court Judge James F. Perry. He will be joined by Luis González, Presiding Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department; Judge Fernando Tapia of the Bronx County Supreme Court in New York; and Judge Migna Sánchez-Llorens of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami.
The judges will choose the Best Advocate, Best Team and Best Brief.
The “trial” will take place at the Old Osceola Court House in Kissimmee.
For more information, visit www.flmcc.org.
Source: www.orlandolatino.org, September 10, 2014