3Ls Robert Rowe and Samuel Bookhardt Win the John T. Gaubatz Moot Court Competition


After a long and difficult competition, 3Ls Robert Rowe and Samuel Bookhardt IV took home first place at the John T. Gaubatz moot court competition, the main moot court contest at Miami Law used to select the top twenty-five advocates for the Charles C. Papy Moot Court Board based on performance.

In the final round of the competition, Rowe and Bookhardt squared off against 2Ls Eli Gordon and Erik Tarrash and argued their respective positions in front of three very distinguished judges. On the bench sat Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, JD ’91, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Judge Beth Bloom, JD ’88, and Judge Darrin P. Gayles, both of the United States Court for the Southern District of Florida.

“The Gaubatz Competition was intense,” said Bookhardt. “Throughout the competition, I was truly impressed by my fellow competitors. Winning the competition, along with the great people that I met along the way, is an experience that I will not soon forget.”

Second year student Michael Braunstein was awarded best oral advocate and Matthew Keilson, 2L, was awarded the Humberto J. Peña Award  as Best Overall Competitor. The final round followed two days of rigorous oral arguments, during which 41 teams competed in front of judging panels made up of Moot Court Board members, local judges, and distinguished attorneys from around the community.

“All of the competitors did a great job and provided difficult competition from Saturday through Monday, which was only compounded by the prestigious panels of judges,” said Rowe. “Overall, the experience was phenomenal and a lot of fun thanks to the hard work of the board.”  

The competition is named in memory of Miami Law Professor John T. Gaubatz, who directed both the graduate program on estate planning and the Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.