March 24, 2016
Stetson University emerged victorious from a strong 22-school field at McGeorge School of Law's 10th National Ethics Trial Competition (NETC) held March 17-19 at the Robert T. Matsui U.S. Courthouse in Sacramento.
Stetson, whose trial advocacy program is ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, also walked off with top individual and Most Professional Team honors. Buffalo finished
second while Emory and Fordham tied for third place in the event, which was established
in 2006 at McGeorge to promote ethical and civility awareness among future trial attorneys.
Students Tanner Puryear, Jose Parra, Riha Pathak, and Kyle Chin, under the direction
of coaches David Norton, '13, Teal Ericson, '14, and Tiffany Wynn, '14, represented
the home team.
"It was another outstanding NETC event, thanks to our sponsors and the tremendous support of the Sacramento legal community that we get every year -- this year 110 attorneys and judges served as evaluators," said Professor Jay Leach, director of McGeorge's Trial & Appellate Advocacy Concentration Program and NETC administrator. Leach also wrote this year's competition problem, which turned on claims for legal malpractice arising out of an attorney's alleged incompetence due to active alcoholism, medical conditions, and medications.
A star-studded panel judged the final round of the tournament. It included Judge Connie Callahan, '75, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Morrison England, '83, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; Justice Louis Mauro, California Third District Court of Appeal and President, Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court; Arthur Scotland, '74, retired Presiding Justice, California Third District Court of Appeal; and Dominique Pollara, Principal, Pollara Law Group and past President, Sacramento Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
Other schools in the field included: American, UC Berkeley, Catholic, Chicago-Kent, Colorado, UC Davis, Denver, Golden Gate, UC Hastings, Houston, Maryland, Mercer, Pace, St. Mary's, South Dakota, South Texas, and Thomas Jefferson.
Robert Buccola,'83, Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora LLP, is the founding sponsor of the NETC. Other sponsors include: ABOTA, Brandon Takahashi, '06, ADLI Law Group; Noel Ferris, '79, Law Office of Noel Ferris; Steve Block, '78, and Teri Block, '98; R. Parker White, '80, Poswall White & Brelsford; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; and Porter Scott Attorneys. The ABA Section of Litigation and the Kennedy American Inn of Court are co-sponsors.