McGeorge School of Law

Houston Wins National Ethics Trial Competition

March 23, 2010

Justice James Hardesty, Judge Richard Goldstone, Judge William Shubb, Dreyer Babich senior partner Joe Babich, and Nancy Sheehan

From left, Justice James Hardesty, Judge Richard Goldstone, Judge William Shubb, Dreyer Babich senior partner Joe Babich, and Porter Scott senior partner Nancy Sheehan congratulate the University of Houston team, winners of the 5th Annual National Ethics Trial Competition.

The University of Houston team took top honors in the 5th Annual McGeorge National Ethics Trial Competition, held March 18-20 at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California.

Houston edged out Fordham University in the final round. Chicago-Kent and the University of Buffalo were the other semifinalists. Top Advocate honors in the final round went to Sara Waller of the winning team. St. John's captured the Most Professional Team Award. Tracy Doubt of Syracuse and Michel Millien of South Texas shared the Top Advocate Award for the preliminary rounds.

The field also included: California-Berkeley, Brooklyn, Georgetown, UC Hastings, St. Mary's (San Antonio), Samford, Stetson, Syracuse, Temple, Tulane, and Wisconsin.

Juliet Cho, '10, Cathleen Demant, '10, Will Jackson, '10, and Kate Rankin, '10 represented McGeorge. Jamie Pearson, '02 and Matt Pearson, '03, coached the host team.

The National Ethics Trial Competition is sponsored by Dreyer, Babich, Buccola, Callaham & Wood LLP, one of California's leading plaintiff law firms. The Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation are co-sponsors.

The final round of the competition was judged by a prestigious panel that included Judge William Shubb, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; retired Judge Richard Goldstone, Constitutional Court of South Africa; Justice James Hardesty, Nevada Supreme Court; Nancy Sheehan, senior partner, Porter Scott, and past president of the Sacramento Chapter of the American Board of Trial Attorneys; and Joe Babich, senior partner, Dreyer Babich Buccola Callaham & Wood.

More than 50 Sacramento area attorneys, judges, district attorneys, public defenders and law professors participated in the three-day event as judges, including 11 Superior Court of California judges, Kennedy Inn of Court members, ABOTA chapter officers, U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez and Professor Ed Imwinkelried of the UC Davis School of Law.