McGeorge School of Law

Advocacy Center Fall 2018 Newsletter

Advocacy Center newsletter header
Published on Nov. 27, 2018

Ahead of the Curve in Innovative Advocacy and Dispute Resolution

Advocacy Directors
Cary Bricker Jay Leach Ed Telfeyan
Cary Bricker

Professor of Lawyering Skills
Co-Director, Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
Director, Mock Trial Program

Jay Leach

Professor of Law Emeritus
Director, Advocacy Concentration
Director, National Ethics Trial Competition

Ed Telfeyan

Professor of Lawyering Skills
Co-Director, Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
Director, Moot Court Program

ADR, Mock Trial, and Moot Court Programs’ Competitions Wins in Fall 2018

negotiation champs NCTC Mock
The International Negotiation Competition 2018: McGeorge students are World Champions!
This past summer McGeorge students Doug Leach and Leah Parrish won the regional, national, and international Negotiation Competitions, the last of which was held in June, 2018 in Wales, UK. 28 teams attended the international competition from 24 countries testing their negotiation skills over a series of rounds where they sought to achieve the optimum short-term and long-term outcomes for their clients, while "dealing with cultural and practical issues thrown up by scenarios that have been imaginatively created by the organizers." 

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National Civil Trial Competition November 9-11: McGeorge Team Victory!
Second year law students Simone Leighty and Adriana Garcia and third year students Allison Wieder and Chelsea Givens won the Championship round of the invitational National Civil Trial Competition hosted by Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, facing Temple Law School in the semi-final round and Stetson Law School in the finals. Simone Leighty won Best Advocate in both the preliminary and final rounds of the competition. 18 of the best Mock Trial teams in the country competed this year in the NCTC.

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NYC battle
National Moot Court Competition: McGeorge Team Wins Region!
For the fifth year in a row, McGeorge is sending a team to the National Moot Court Competition in New York City, having emerged as regional champions one week ago, also winning Best Brief. Anete Miller, comprising the second McGeorge team together with Paige Davidson and Michael Laino, won the award for Best Oralist in the regional competition. Davidson, Millers, and Laino will compete in the New York National Moot Court Final Rounds to be held at the New York City Bar from Jan. 28, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2019. McGeorge has sent a team to the final competition for six of the past seven years.

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Battle of the Experts: McGeorge Team Finalists!
In the inaugural "Battle of Experts" competition at Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia, Mock Trial team members Allison Wieder, Davis Adams, Simone Leighty and Chelsea Givens were finalists going into the Championship round, having won all four preliminary rounds putting them in first place.  This invitational tournament was unique in that skilled mock trial coaches from around the country, including McGeorge coaches, presided over and scored each round.

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Recent Center Events

Lou Ashe Jurist-in-Residence: United States Court of Appeals Judge L. Filipe Restrepo.

Last April, Judge Restrepo participated in Advocacy Center-related activities: anchoring one of three panels at the annual Lou Ashe Symposium, and presiding over the Appellate Advocacy “Final Four” Competition.

Lou Ashe Symposium: “The American Jury 2018: Issues and Directions”

Lou AshePanel One, The Effect of Bias on Jury Validity, anchored by Judge Restrepo, focused on issues and current jurisprudence related to bias in selection of jurors and jury deliberations, including discussion of available remedies.

Panel Two, Social Media as Source for Information on the Venire, anchored by Arizona Superior Court Judge Christopher Whitten, focused on the range of information available to lawyers during jury selection and legal and ethical limits on its use. The panel included presentations by McGeorge students Allison Wieder and Ashley Smith.

Panel Three, Visual Learning and Jury Persuasion, focused on how "working memory" relates to visual presentations in trial and the effective use of visuals and PowerPoint. The panel included a consulting psychologist, Dr. Stacey Hunter-Schwartz, ABOTA trial lawyer Robert Buccola '83 and Morgan Smith ’93, president of Cogent Legal, a California jury consulting company.

Final Four Competition

GLS II Final FourThe Final Four Competition pits against one another the four students who ranked as the strongest appellate advocates during their second year of law school. This year’s panel included Judge Restrepo, Judge Whitten, and Judge Carolyn K. Delaney, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The Competition is the culmination of four semesters of McGeorge’s hallmark Global Lawyering course consisting of legal research, writing, analysis, and advocacy. Second year student Stacy Jackson emerged at top advocate in the competition.

Academic Partners for Peace Study the Role of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Middle East

peaceIn December 2017, Associate Dean and Professor Michael Colatrella, an expert in negotiation and mediation, visited Israel with eleven other U.S. dispute-resolution scholars to study the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The trip was sponsored by Academic Partners for Peace, which is affiliated with the Jewish Federation of North America. The delegation met with an array of people knowledgeable about or directly involved with the peace process, including Israeli officials and Israeli and Palestinian NGO leaders who run grassroots peace initiatives.

Among the highlights of the trip was a discussion with Aharon Barak, a former President of the Israeli Supreme Court who, as Attorney General under Prime Minister Menachem Begin, was responsible for the legal work on the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt during the Carter Administration. The group also met with Tal Becker who serves as a senior advisor regarding the peace process to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has been involved as an Israeli advisor in the peace negotiations since the early 2000's.

Upcoming Center Events

McGeorge National Ethics Trial Competition:

McGeorge’s National Ethics Trial Competition, established in 2006, will once again take place in the EDCA Matsui Courthouse on March 14-16, 2019. 18 teams from top mock-trial law schools from around the country will compete before distinguished jurists and lawyers from the Greater Sacramento legal community. The unique focus of this competition is the promotion of ethical and civility awareness through the mock trial competition format. The case file, specially written for the event, presents a potential ethical ground for recovery. The student competitors are scored in part on the basis of their observation and knowledge of ethical and civility standards.


Conference on Mindfulness for Trial Lawyers:

The Center is planning a two day conference focusing on mindfulness training and techniques for trial lawyers. Expected presenters will include a clinical psychologist who specializes in running both mindfulness and emotional intelligence workshops; a law professor who teaches the intersection between mindfulness and social justice and other experts in this area. The conference will include plenary and breakout sessions over the course of the two days.

Advocacy Programming at McGeorge

Professors Bricker and Leach teach numerous advocacy-related courses at McGeorge and nationally:

At McGeorge:

* Trial Advocacy and Advanced Trial Advocacy: Unique to McGeorge, the two professors teach all sections of both courses all year. The Trial Advocacy “final exam” consists of an all-day jury trial before citizen jurors and guest judges. Students watch the jury deliberations on close circuit television.

* The Art of Plea Bargaining (taught with Sacramento Deputy DA and McGeorge Mock Trial coach Keith Hill): Students critically analyze the fairness and efficacy of the criminal justice system where 97% of cases resolve through pleas, taking into account the impact of an indigent defense bar with limited resources, prosecutorial discretion and power, and the absence of codified regulations at the plea stage. Students engage in weekly role plays where they negotiate pleas -- one week as prosecutors, the next as defense counsel. 

* Mock Trial Evidence: Members of the Mock Trial Team take this year-long course, analyzing and arguing evidentiary issues presented in competition fact patterns, raising and meeting objections, and drafting and arguing written motions in limine.

* Persuasive Public Speaking: Students practice the art of persuasion by presenting speeches on their chosen topics. Special emphasis is put on effective delivery and the challenge of “holding in” those audience members who are most likely to resist the point of view the speaker is advancing.

* Federal Defender Clinic and Seminar: Students represent individuals charged with federal misdemeanors from citation or arrest through plea, trial, and appeal, under the training and supervision of experienced Sacramento Federal Defenders. Over the last decade many students have conducted bench and jury trials while two have argued cases before the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals. During the seminar students discuss issues related to indigent criminal defense and practice client interviewing, counseling, plea bargaining and cross-examining Government witnesses at trial.

 Outreach to Wider Legal Community:

* Both professors teach deposition and trial practice to attorneys in many states, mainly under the auspices of NITA (National Institute for Trial Advocacy). Professor Leach serves as Program Director for two San Francisco NITA programs – Western Deposition and Western Trial Skills. Professor Bricker will be Program Director at a NITA Legal Services Trial Training in December. They also serve as faculty in many other international, national and regional training programs and at numerous law firms around the country. This training extends to Italy, Russia, China, Chile and Northern Ireland. Between the two of them, they estimate they have trained over 10,000 law students and trial lawyers over the course of their combined 40+ years of teaching. 

* The professors also participate in panel discussions and make presentations at advocacy conferences, including the upcoming EATS (Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills) conference at UMKC in Kansas City.


Professor Telfeyan likewise both teaches innovative courses at McGeorge and presents nationally:

At McGeorge:

* Advanced Appellate Advocacy: This year-long course for the Moot Court Competition Team focuses on tailoring research to the issues presented in each competition case, moving into the more intricate aspects of writing. The goals of the course are to yield student generated compelling and “clean” or error-free appellate briefs and persuasive oral advocacy before an appellate bench. In-class dress rehearsals by teams about to depart for competitions receive extensive peer review by the other members of the class, putting students in the role of coaches and thereby enhancing their understanding of good oral skills.

* Criminal Defenses: This elective focuses on procedural and substantive defenses at trial. The course begins by covering the purely procedural defensive options, including plea bargaining, non-waiver of time (for a speedy trial), discovery, and pre-trial release, then explores constitutional defenses arising from the exclusionary rules of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments; Sixth Amendment right-to-counsel claims; and the due process arguments for statutory vagueness and entrapment.

* Global Lawyering Skills: All McGeorge students take two years of an enhanced legal writing curriculum that includes basic instruction in research and writing as well as introductions to client interviewing and counseling, mediation and settlement, and cross-cultural considerations. In their second year students take a case from initial pleading through an appeal from rulings on pre-trial motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.

Outreach to Wider Legal Community:

* Professor Telfeyan regularly presents at workshops on legal writing instruction, introducing his “Grammar Bee” and “White-glove Inspection” techniques, both of which have been adopted by a number of law schools. He has also presented on “The Mirror-image Approach to IRAC -- the CREAC Paradigm.”