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Drake Law team advances to AAJ Mock Trial national finals

March 16, 2016
Drake's AAJ Mock Trial regional champion team: Luke Draisey, Sean Callison, Amy Garver, Greg Whitaker, and alternate John Sears.

A Drake Law School team won the regional American Association for Justice (AAJ) National Student Trial Advocacy Competition to advance to the national finals.

This marks the third consecutive year – and the fourth time in five years – Drake has won the regional competition.

The AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition (formerly the ATLA Student Trial Advocacy Competition) is a national mock trial contest for law school students.

The competition is built around a fictitious fact scenario comprised of pleadings, affidavits, exhibits, and other materials. Students perform opening and closing statements, direct and cross examinations, and portray witnesses.

In each round, students present one side of a civil case, while students from another team present the opposing side. Judges and attorneys score the students based on their ability to advocate. The team with the higher point tally is declared the winner of the round.

Two Drake teams competed in the regional AAJ National Student Trial Competition in Omaha March 10-13. It was one of 14 regional competitions held around the country over the weekend.

Drake’s White Team, comprised of Luke Draisey (3L), Amy Garver (3L), Sean Callison (3L), Greg Whitaker (3L), and alternate John Sears (2L), defeated law school teams from Creighton University, the University of South Dakota, the University of Tulsa, and the University of Colorado to claim the regional title.

The team will compete in the national finals in New Orleans on March 31-April 3.

Drake’s Blue Team, comprised of Anna Bergman (2L), Shannon Powers (3L), Andrew Powers (3L), Monika Sehic (2L), and alternate Thomas Tolbert (2L), finished the preliminary rounds with a 3-6 record. The Drake team defeated a team from Creighton University and narrowly lost to teams from the University of Tulsa, who advanced to the semifinals, and the University of Colorado.

The teams are coached by Matthew Eslick, LW’05, and Kurt Van Thomme, LW’05.