November 15, 2013
In what was arguably the most successful weekend in its long, storied competition history, the McGeorge Mock Trial program captured second-place finishes in two major national invitational tournaments, walking off with best individual advocate awards in both events.
"It was a remarkable performance by our students against the best programs in the country," said Professor Cary Bricker, the director of the mock trial team. "It's the best we've ever done in either competition."
Amanda Iler, Andrea Morris, Danny Jensen and Greg Hayes advanced to the championship finals after a semifinal-round win over Pepperdine at the 12th Annual National Civil Trial Competition, held Nov. 8-10, 2013. In the final round they battled evenly with Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, three judges for each side, but lost based on tie-breaking tournament rules. The team won the Ethical Advocacy Award and Mr. Hayes won the Best Advocate in the Final Rounds Award.
Coach Keith Hill, '96, accompanied the team. Preliminary rounds of the invitation-only, 16-team tourney were held at Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica with the finals rounds argued on the downtown campus of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law School.
The Santa Monica firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP is the major sponsor of the event.
Across the country in upstate New York, another McGeorge team was compiling similar, stunning results in the 10th Annual Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Competition. Daphne Copenhaver, Selena Farnesi, Teal Ericson and Best Advocate winner Jake Weaver weaved their way through a 36-team field with seven consecutive victories to make the championship round where they were outpointed, 4-3, by Florida Coastal. Leland Washington, '01, and Jason Schaff, '06 coached the team.
"We were the only West Coast team there, and we showed them what a West Coast offense looks like." Schaff said. "Jake was at the top of his game, but it was a real team effort. We beat Villanova, University of Connecticut, Widener of Delaware, and St. Mary's of Texas in the prelims. In the break rounds, we beat Georgia State, a tough Villanova team again, and Syracuse in a semifinal-round battle."
The Buffalo-Niagara competition, which involves a criminal case, is sponsored by the SUNY Buffalo Law School, the New York State 8th Judicial District, and the Bar Association of Erie County. It was held Nov. 8-11, 2013.
District Attorney Jan Scully commended Deputy District Attorneys Leland Washington and Keith Hill in a media advisory on Nov. 19, 2013.