Mercer Law School will host a Law Day Celebration on Friday, March 24. The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the first-floor courtroom with a keynote address from noted trial lawyer Andrew “Andy” Haggard, LAW '67, senior partner of The Haggard Law Firm, P.A., in Florida. The address will be followed by the final round of the first-year Hugh Lawson Moot Court Competition. Both events are free and open to the public. A reception will follow the Lawson Competition.
The Lawson Competition is a long-standing intraschool competition exclusively for first-year students. Judges for the competition include Law School alumni Haggard, Dwight Davis ('82) and Doc Schneider ('81), professor Sarah Gerwig Moore and third-year student and 2015 winner of the competition Jasmine Severino. The competition helps expose students to moot court practice and procedure before they try out for Mercer's nationally recognized moot court teams in the fall of their second year. The student who argues most effectively receives $500 and has his or her name engraved on the King and Spalding Cup.
Haggard received his B.A. from Florida State University in 1964 and his J.D. from Mercer in 1967. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1967 and served as an assistant state attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit, as well as chief prosecutor, trial counsel and military judge in the Judge Advocate General's office (JAG) of the United States Air Force from 1968-1971. He was the youngest military judge ever selected in the field of trial litigation.
He has practiced from 1972 to the present in the field of personal injury, wrongful death, negligent security and liquor liability and has tried more than 150 jury trials. From 1990-1992, he served as a commissioner on the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Haggard is a member of the International Society of Barristers, which is by invitation only to 500 of the top trial lawyers internationally; American College of Trial Lawyers; Southern Trial Lawyers Association; International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a worldwide organization limited to just 500 attorneys by invitation only; ABOTA; Florida Justice Association; American Bar Association; and Association of Trial Lawyers of America, where he was selected as one of its “Top 100 Trial Lawyers.” He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court. He is listed in MartindaleHubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and has an AV rating, as well as Woodward White publications The Best Lawyers in America and Greatest American Lawyers. He has been honored with receiving the prestigious 2015 Southern Trial Lawyers Association War Horse Award and the 2014 Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Justice Association, formerly known as the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers.
He is a current member of the Mercer University Board of Trustees and Florida State University Board of Trustees, having served as chairman of the latter from 2010-2012. He served as chairman of the Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Counsel and also served on the board of directors of the Florida State University Research Foundation and on the Florida State University Foundation Board of Trustees.