McGeorge School of Law

Denver Winner of 12th McGeorge National Ethics Trial Competition

March 19, 2019

Professor Jay Leach speaking to the National Ethics Trial Competition participants.

Professor Jay Leach speaking to the National Ethics Trial Competition participants.

University of Denver, Sturm College of Law emerged victorious at the prestigious invitation-only National Ethics Trial Competition (NETC) hosted by McGeorge School of Law.

The NETC was established in 2006 to promote ethical and civility awareness through the mock trial competition format. This year's event, the 12th NETC, was held March 14 to 16, 2019 at the traditional site, the Robert T. Matsui U.S. Courthouse in Sacramento. Eighteen of the nation's top trial advocacy schools sent teams to compete in the NETC. A large group of local judges and attorneys served as presiding and scoring judges.

Professor Jay Leach, director of McGeorge's Trial & Appellate Advocacy JD Certificate of Concentration Program, organized the NETC and co-authored the case file with Professor Cary Bricker, director of McGeorge's Mock Trial Program and co-director of the Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution.

Denver edged out UCLA in the final round. Mercer and UC Hastings were the semi-finalists. Hastings' Erin Zatlin won the Top Advocate - Preliminary Rounds trophy; UCLA’s Deeksha Kohli was awarded the Top Advocate - Final Rounds spot. Fordham was named Most Professional Team.

The field also included: American, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Chicago-Kent, Davis, Drexel, Emory, Loyola-Chicago, Maryland, Mercer, South Texas, Stetson and UM Kansas City.

McGeorge School of Law is rated the 7th best law school in the country when it comes to trial advocacy, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2020 Best Graduate Schools released on March 12, 2019. Success in the trial advocacy ranking is attributed to McGeorge's award-winning mock trial, moot court, and alternative dispute resolution programs, directed by the Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution. These programs provide opportunities for students to hone their skills in the trial courtroom, appellate advocacy, client counseling, negotiation, and arbitration. McGeorge students are able to test their abilities in competitions around the world.

Robert Buccola,'83, Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora LLP, is the title sponsor of the NETC. The gold sponsor isR. Parker White, ’80, Brelsford, Androvich & White, in honor of Noël M. Ferris, ’79. Other sponsors include: American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Sacramento Chapter; Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association; Brandon Takahashi, '06, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP; Daniel E. Wilcoxen, ’72, Wilcoxen Callaham LLP; Derek P. Cole, ’99, Scott E. Huber, ’02, Cole l Huber LLP; Robert W. Armstrong, ’78, John R. Brydon, ’78, Steve Block, ‘78 & Teri Block, ’98, Demler, Armstrong & Rowland, LLP; Joseph C. George, ’85, Joseph C. George, Jr., ’98, Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D.; Robin J. Smith, ’89, R.J. Smith Law Office, PC; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; and Downey Brand LLP. The ABA Section of Litigation and the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court are also co-sponsors.