April 5, 2013 | Leave a Comment
HOUSTON — Campbell Law School was the winner of one of the nation’s most prestigious mock trial competitions over the weekend, as Michael Hedgepeth, Jessica Burgess, Philip Kuhn and Anna McNeill brought home a national championship by winning the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge in Houston.
Hedgepeth and Burgess tried both sides of the case as lawyers throughout competition, while Kuhn, McNeill and South Texas student Lena Laurenzo served as witnesses en route to collecting the Treece-O’Quinn Trophy as competition champions.
In addition to the team title, Burgess collected two individual honors. After the first three rounds, she was honored as one of the Top 10 most outstanding advocates at the competition out of a field of 176 student competitors. At the conclusion of the championship trial, she was also presented the Laminack, Pirtle, & Martines Trophy as the best advocate in the championship round of the competition.
This year’s South Texas Mock Trial Challenge included numerous litigation components. Competitors were required to draft and submit a scored trial brief, review and incorporate medical records discovery production, and call medical experts. Kuhn, editor-in-chief of the Campbell Law Review, led the trial brief drafting effort for the team and outstanding second-year student McNeill acted as multiple witnesses in preparation for the competition.
Campbell Law Director of Advocacy & Assistant Professor of Law Dan Tilly and third-year Andrew Shores coached the team. Campbell Law Professor Jean Cary was also instrumental in providing the students with a strong foundation in family law and directly assisted in formulating the case theory for the trial.
The team received a $10,000 prize, which they shared equally between themselves and their student colleague, Lena Laurenzo from South Texas College of Law. The team was also fitted for a custom pair of cowboy boots by a Houston boot maker who has made boots for numerous celebrities, including both Presidents Bush.
“This is a tremendous achievement for Michael, Jessica, Phil and Anna and speaks volumes to the success being created at Campbell Law,” said Tilly. “Our advocates bested the best. Their victory is especially impressive when you consider than none of our advocates had ever previously competed in a trial competition. They are simply the product of our stellar advocacy program.”
As the largest invitational trial competition in the country, the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge hosts 44 teams from across the nation. Most competing schools opt to send their very best advocates, many of whom competed at other national competitions this spring.
Teams from Stetson, Temple, Maryland and Campbell Law — a who’s who among the nation’s top advocacy programs this year — comprised the Final Four at the competition, with Campbell Law topping Stetson in the finale.
This national competition title adds yet another feather in the cap of the Campbell Law Advocacy Program, which has enjoyed an impressive run of achievements this spring. Campbell Law teams recently swept all of the regional championships for their regions in the American Association of Justice competition and the 38th National Trial Competition, and will be competing for national championships in both competitions in April.
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