Emory Law Mock Trial Society Advances at National Trial Competition Regionals, Competes at the John L. Costello Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition

This past weekend, the Emory Law Mock Trial Society competed in two competitions: the Regional Competition for the Thirty Eighth Annual National Trial Competition hosted by Campbell Law School in Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Sixth Annual John L. Costello Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by the George Mason University School of Law in Fairfax, Virginia.

Emory sent two teams to the Regionals for the National Trial Competition. Rachel Belcher, ‘13L, and Andrew Healy, ‘13L, represented one Emory team. Kate Golensky, ‘14L, Matthew Grossman, ‘13L, and Matthew Stumpf, ‘14L represented the second Emory team.

After the three preliminary rounds, the team of Belcher and Healy ranked third out of 24 teams, and advanced to the round of eight, where they were edged out by two points on a single ballot by a very good Campbell team. The Campbell team eventually advanced to Nationals. Both Belcher and Healy demonstrated the skills and talent that have marked each and every one of their competitions.

The team of Grossman, Golsensky, and Stumof also performed extremely well and faced very tough competition in the first round from the Wake Forest team that would eventually rank first after the preliminary  rounds. In spite of very strong performances and very high scores, this team did not advance to the round of eight. Both Golsensky and Stumpf continued what will be great mock trial careers here at Emory, and Grossman anchored this team brilliantly.

The judges had nothing but the highest praise for both teams. Other coaches and teams also mentioned repeatedly how well-polished and professional our teams were. All five of these students worked very hard and their preparation showed in the way they conducted themselves at trial. Annie Deets, Jerry Mason, and Matthew McCoyd coached the teams.

At the John L. Costello Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition, Brett Land, ‘14L, Ellis Liu, ‘13L, and Andy Posil, ‘13L, competed in one of the most difficult mock trial competitions in the law school circuit. The Costello competition only provides witness statements and exhibits for one side of the case, so that the only information about the opponent’s case a team receives is a list of potential witnesses. Even during the round, the team never saw the witness statements for any of the defense witnesses, requiring the team to create all cross examinations and closing arguments extemporaneously.

Land, Liu, and Posil represented Emory very well. In one round, Liu’s argument convinced the opposing team to withdraw all of their motions in liminie and motions for directed verdict. Land presented his first closing while having to incorporate the new facts he learned in trial that day. Posil served as the team’s police-officer witness and received praise from all of the judges for his convincing performance. Despite the team’s stellar performance, they did not make the steep cut from 34 teams to 8. Tony Thomas coached the team.

After two years and four competitions, this past weekend marks the end of the Emory Law Mock Trial competition experience for Belcher, Grossman, Healy, Liu, and Posil.

National Trial Advocacy Competition Team Advances to Quarter-Finals, Wins Best Overall Advocate

At the 2012 National Trial Advocacy Competition on October 25-28, Rachel Belcher, Greg Bitner, Martin Bunt, and Louis Laverone advanced farther than Emory has advanced thus far at this competition. The team advanced to the quarter-final round, where they competed against Cooley Law School, the team finishing second at the competition. 

Louis Laverone earned the Best Overall Advocate Award out of 104 competitors at the competition. "Louis' performance did more than impress the judges; it left them with nothing to critique," stated Director of Competitions, Rachel Belcher.

The team was coached by James Thomas, DeKalb County Assistant Public Defender, and Tony Thomas, Legal Counsel for Georgia Gwinnett College.

Emory Mock Trial Team Advances to Quarter-Finals in National Civil Rights Trial Competition

At the 2012 Peter James Johnson '49 National Civil Rights Trial Competition, Brett Land, Trevor Newberry, Nnenna Opara, and Matthew Stumpf advanced to the quarter-final round. Going into the quarter-final round, the team had a perfect record, ranking fourth among the advancing teams. The team faced incredible competitors and had very close rounds. Their performances left nothing to be desired. 

The team was coached by Lindsay Gardner, Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney.

Emory Law Mock Trial Team Defends National Championship Title

On November 20, 2011, Emory Law’s Mock Trial brought home the championship trophy from the William W. Daniel National Invitational Mock Trial Competition. Emory competed against 18 law schools for the title. This is the second year in a row that the Emory Mock Trial Society has won this national tournament championship.

The Emory competition team was comprised of Hannah Bakken (3L), Rachel Belcher (2L), Drew Healy (2L), and James Thomas (3L).  The Emory team was coached by Annie Deets of the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office, Steve Grimberg of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Matt McCoyd of the DeKalb County Attorney’s Office.

The team remained undefeated in four preliminary rounds to advance to the final championship round. On the way to the championship round, the Emory team bested the University of Denver’s Strum College of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law, Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode School of Law, and the University of Georgia School of Law. The Emory team defeated Southern Texas University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in the final championship round to earn the title.

Emory Wins Second Consecutive Regional Title at Labor and Employment Competition

Pictured (Left to Right): Casey Boome, 3L; Mark Smith, 2L; Coach Andy Pascual; Latrese Martin, 3L; Natanya Brooks, 2L

On October 30, the Emory Mock Trial Society, represented by Casey Boome (3L), Natanya Harper (2L), Latrese Martin (3L) and Mark Smith (2L), defeated the competition to secure a first place finish at the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition. Emory faced teams from Miami, Florida State University, and Florida Coastal to secure a place in the Finals. The team once again defeated Florida State University to take the title.   

Emory has taken the same title three times in the last four times attending the competition, including winning last year’s competition.

The Emory team advances to compete at the Competition Nationals, held in Miami, Florida this Spring, as one of eight regional championship winners. The team was coached by Andy Pascal, a DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney, who coached the Emory team to its last two regional championships in the Labor and Employment competition.



Championship Win in Puerto Rico

On October 29, at its first invitation to the Puerto Rico Invitational Trial Advocacy Competition, Emory Law’s Mock Trial Team took home the title.  The competition team was comprised of Natalie Dana (3L), Trevor Newberry (2L), Craig Runyon (3L) and Reade Seligman (2L). In addition to remaining undefeated, the team members also received special tournament awards, including Best Cross, awarded to Craig Runyon, 3L, and Best Opening, awarded to Trevor Newberry, 2L. Reade Seligman, 2L and Craig Runyon, 3L also received Perfect Score Mentions.

The team receives an automatic invitation to the 22nd National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, to be held March 29-31, 2012. The team also secured an invitation for Emory to compete in the 2012 Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition.

The team was coached by Zach North, Lead Attorney at Lister & Holt.


Team Takes Runner-up at National Civil Rights Competition

Pictured: Ellis Lui, 2L, on left; Andrew Cooper, 3L, second to left; Holly Shefield, 3L, third from right; Andrew Posil, 2L, on right

Kicking off the 2011 season, the Emory Mock Trial Society made its first appearance at the Peter James Johnson ’49 National Civil Rights Trial Competition, held in New York. The competition team was comprised of Andrew Cooper (3L), Ellis Liu (2L), Andrew Posil (2L), and Holly Sheffield (3L). Emory defeated teams from the University of Virginia, South Texas College of Law, American University, and Seton Hall University, to earn a place in the final championship round. In a rematch against South Texas College of Law, the Emory team was edged out by mere points for the title.

The Emory team was coached by Lindsay Gardner, a Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney. Ms. Gardner has served as a coach with the Emory Mock Trial Society for the last two years.