March 27, 2013
Catholic University's Columbus School of Law emerged victorious at the 7th National Ethics Trial Competition (NETC) hosted March 14 through 16, 2013, by the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific at the Robert T. Matsui U.S. Courthouse in Sacramento.
It was Catholic University's first victory in the prestigious national invitational mock trial event, which began in 2006.
McGeorge Professor Jay Leach was the director of the competition, and professor Cary Bricker was the co-director. This year's problem was a fictional case, Huntington v. Aster, in which the plaintiff sued her attorney for professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion because of the attorney's actions in converting her will to an irrevocable trust.
The winning team consisted of Catholic University students Michael Ellement, Jay Goosen, Allison Somers, and Ivy Gibson. Fordham, Buffalo and Emory teams also reached the semifinals, with Fordham declared the runner-up. Stetson's Josef Rosen won the award for Top Advocate Preliminary Rounds, and David Gable from Hastings and Nick Solitro from Pace received honorable mentions in that category. Emory's Louis Lavrone and Buffalo's Nicholas Romano won the Top Advocate Final Rounds trophies, and an honorable mention went to Jay Goossen from Catholic University. Chicago-Kent, the winner of last year's NETC, received the Most Professional Team Award. The competition also included American, Georgetown, Houston, Roger Williams, South Dakota, South Texas, and UC Berkeley, and UC Davis.
The NETC is co-sponsored by the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, and made possible by the generous donations of Sacramento attorneys Robert A. Buccola, '83, Noël Ferris, '79, Parker White, '80, the law firm of Porter Scott, and the Sacramento Chapter of ABOTA.
The final round of the competition was judged by a prestigious panel that included Chief Judge Morrison England, Jr. '83 of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California; Santa Clara Superior County Judge Patricia Lucas; U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner; outgoing Federal Defender Daniel Broderick; and Sacramento ABOTA attorney Patricia Tweedy. The semi-final rounds were presided over by U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb and San Joaquin County Superior County Judge Barbara Kronlund '89.
More than 60 Sacramento area attorneys, judges, district attorneys, federal defenders, public defenders, and law professors participated in the three-day event as judges.