May 5, 2016
McGeorge School of Law has earned a national reputation for the quality of its mock trial and moot court teams, which annually compete in the most prestigious intercollegiate national events. At the annual Advocacy Awards Ceremony on April 28, 2016, Kitty Canales received the 2016 Ferris-White Prize for Excellence in Trial Advocacy, funded by McGeorge alumni and former mock trial team stars R. Parker White, '80, and Noël Ferris, '79. Ferris and White's own experiences while Trial Advocacy students at McGeorge inspired them to create an annual prize for the graduating student who demonstrates consistently outstanding trial advocacy skills. Kathryne Baldwin was named the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Student Trial Advocate of the Year while Jenifer Gee collected Appellate Advocate of the Year honors.
The McGeorge Advocacy Program includes the Trial Advocacy courses (where students
learn effective methods for presenting evidence and otherwise conducting the trial
of a case), the Global Lawyering Skills II course (where students learn the process
of presenting written and oral arguments in a case that begins at the trial court
level and ends in an appeal), a Mock Trial Competition Program (for presentation of
evidence at a trial), a Moot Court Competition Program (for presentation of written
and oral arguments on appeal), and an Advanced Dispute Resolution (ADR) Competition
Program (for alternative resolutions in litigation).
There were many highlights to the 2015-16 advocacy competition season. In spring, the McGeorge team swept the 2016 Roger J. Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition. Students Ian McGlone, Sean Creadick and Michael Shepherd won the overall competition, won the top oral advocacy team award, and won the best brief award. McGeorge students Chris Maloney and Catherine Hawe were the winning team at the National Cultural Heritage Moot Court Competition hosted by DePaul University College of Law in Chicago Feb. 26-28, 2016.
Two McGeorge teams advanced to the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition national tournament in April. Both teams won all five rounds at the regional tournament held March 3 - 5 in San Francisco, California. One of the teams was comprised of students Sheena Farro, Virginia Martucci, and James Ward. The other winning team was comprised of students Karly McCrory, Jenifer Gee, and Kimberly Van Spronsen. The McGeorge mock trial team won an Outstanding Trial Brief award in the South Texas Challenge, which was held in mid-April in Houston. Nicole Vera, Lauryn Tully, Heather Phillips, and Alex Smith were an octo-finalist in the event.
In fall, the McGeorge team of Jenifer Gee and Kimberly Van Spronsen took first place in the New York National Moot Court 66th Annual Competition Northern California Regional Competition (Region 12), held at McGeorge on Nov. 13 to 14, 2015. Gee also won the Top Oralist award. McGeorge students Sheena Farro and Michael Shepherd took second place at the competition. Van Spronsen and Gee competed in the final rounds of the NYC National in New York City in February 2016. Ian McGlone captured the Best Speaker Award in the Thomas Tang Moot Western Regional in October 2015. The Moot Court teams took home awards from all five fall competitions. Student Shoeb Mohammad was cited for best cross-examination in the preliminary rounds of the 12th Annual Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Competition in November 2015. (Read more about the Mock Trial 2015-2016 season).
Moot court and mock trial team tryouts for the 2016-2017 season were held in April and were open to all upper-division McGeorge students.