For the past 40 years, the Trial Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association has had the privilege of hosting the New York Regional Round of the National Trial Competition, the country’s oldest and most prestigious mock trial competition for law students. The mission of the NTC is to “encourage and strengthen students’ advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar. The program is designed to expose law students to the nature of trial practice and to serve as a supplement to their education.”
The 2017 New York Regional Round of the national Trial Competition was held on the weekend of February 10-12. This is the 42nd consecutive year that the Trial Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association has served as the host for this Mock Trial Competition for law students.
This year, eleven law schools from New York State entered the competition, sending 20 teams made up of three law students each. The schools that competed this year were Brooklyn Law School, Buffalo Law, Cardozo Law School, Cornell Law, Fordham Law, Hofstra Law, NYU Law, New York Law School, Pace Law School, St. Johns Law and Syracuse Law.
Fordham Law School served as the host school. Major thanks go to Adam Shlahet, Director of Student Advocacy at Fordham Law and Prof. James Kieran, both of whom devoted a considerable amount of time to helping organize and run the competition.
The competition this year was held at the United States District Court, Southern District Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street. This was a wonderful venue for the students to compete in and we wish to thank the Chief Judge of the Southern District, the Hon. Colleen McMahon for allowing us to hold the competition at the Southern District Courthouse.
In this mock trial competition, the law students are required to try an entire case from start to finish, including Opening Statements, Direct and Cross-Examination of witnesses, Closing Statements and motions at various points of the trial. A presiding judge oversees the trial and lawyer/evaluators score the students based on their performance in presenting their cases.
After three rounds of competition, eight teams advanced to the Semi-Finals held on Sunday morning: Teams A and B from Brooklyn, Team E from Cardozo, Teams I and J from Fordham, Team N from NYU, Team Q from St. Johns, Team S from Syracuse.
Teams A and B from Brooklyn advanced to the Final Round along with teams from St. Johns and Syracuse.. In the Finals, Brooklyn Team B defeated Syracuse Law and St. Johns Law defeated Brooklyn Team A.
St Johns Law and Brooklyn Law were crowned Co-Champions of the New York Regional Competition and both teams will go on to represent New York in the National NTC Finals to be held in Texas in March 2017.
The Trial Lawyers Section recognized several individual students with awards in each of the various disciplines of the trial:
Best Opening Statement: Arielle Cummings, St Johns Law
Best Direct Examination: Loreen Bousmail, NYU Law
Best Cross-Examination: Loreen Bousmail, NYU Law
Best Closing Statement: Loreen Bousmail, NYU Law
Best Overall Advocate, Preliminary Rounds: Sean Brucker, Hofstra Law
Anthony DeMarco Jr., Best Overall Advocate Award: Christopher Clark, Syracuse Law
The Prof. Travis Lewin Best Coaches Award: Brooklyn Law School
Congratulations to all who competed this year and best of luck to St Johns and Brooklyn at the National Finals.