March 6, 2012 11:36 Age: 2 yrs

Emory Mock Trial Team Wins AAJ Regional

The Emory Mock Trial Society tournament team won first place at the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition Atlanta regional, held March 1-4.

The winning team included Natalie Dana 12L, Craig Runyon 12L, Reade Seligmann 13L and Trevor Newberry 13L.They were coached by Andy Pascual, a DeKalb County assistant district attorney. Also competing were Andrew Cooper 12L, Latrese Martin 12L, Holly Sheffield 12L and Matt Grossman 13L, who were coached by Lindsay Gardner, a Gwinett County assistant district attorney.  The win gives Emory a berth among the 14 regional winners competing for the national championship in Las Vegas on March 22-25. The final tier emerged from nearly 224 teams.

Dana  thought the regional's semi-final was the toughest. "Reade had the jury hooked right from his opening, and Craig ended with a fiery closing that flipped the other team’s theme," she said. "We slimly won that round by only one point because GSU put on a thorough and clean case."

"The hard work is really starting to pay off and we can't be prouder," Runyon said." This is Emory's sixth competition win in two years."

This is Emory's first win at the AAJ competition. They also made it to the final round last year at the regional National Trial Competition, the nation's other largest mock trial competition. Together, the two competitions determine which teams from across the nation receive an invitation to the most prestigious national mock trial competition, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions, said Judge Lindsay R.M. Jones, associate director of Emory Law’s Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution and the team’s advisor.

The invitations are based on a three-year performance record at the NTC and AAJ Competitions, Jones said. In the past three AAJ competitions, Emory has gone from semi-finalist to finalist and this year, winner.

The 2011-2012 Mock Trial team has taken four tournament wins this year and advanced seven times in nine competitions, Jones said. The team has competed at 16 tournaments during the past two years, where they advanced to semifinals 12 times, went to the final round 11 times and won six times.

“During this fall semester, Emory posted the best record of any law school in the nation,” Jones said.

Following the AAJ national finals, the team will travel to its last tournament, the National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition in Chicago on March 29-31.

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