From top left: Team members Bryan O'Neill, Catherine Chargo, Joseph Vogel From bottom left: Catherine Hollinrake, Emily Zerkel, Bridgette Huntley
Six Drake University Law students recently competed in the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC). This year, 207 teams competed at six regional tournaments for one of the 24 invitations to the national finals held at the ABA Headquarters April 6-8 in Chicago.
From March 6-9, thirty-two teams competed in the St. Louis regional tournament. Oral arguments were held in the nation’s largest courthouse, the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse, which serves as the seat of the United State Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
The Drake team made up of Bryan O’Neill (3L), Catherine Chargo (3L), and Joseph Vogel (3L), advanced to the third round of the tournament. The team competed against Mercer, LSU, and Duquesne whom they bested in the second round.
The second Drake team of Bridgette Huntley (3L), Emily Zerkel (2L), and Catherine Hollinrake (3L) remained undefeated throughout all five rounds of the tournament. This team bested Vanderbilt, Denver, Mercer, SIUC, and the University of Mississippi. The team also had one of the top ten brief scores at the competition, and Emily Zerkel was recognized as one of the top ten competitors, winning a Best Oralist Award.
The Drake team of Bridgette Huntley, Emily Zerkel, and Catherine Hollinrake is joined by teams from Washington University in St. Louis and Chapman University in advancing to nationals from the St. Louis regional. Serving as coach for both teams is Donn Stanley, an attorney with the Iowa Attorney General.