Article of Interest

Article of Interest

40th Annual National Trial Competition
By: Zeke Fortenberry

This year the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers are excited to host the 40th annual National Trial Competition.  The law school mock trial tournament is the biggest and most prestigious competition in the country.   Over 300 law school teams will compete in 14 different regional tournaments, with the top two teams from each region qualifying for the national finals.  The national finals will take place March 12-15, 2015, in Houston.

Unlike most mock trial tournaments, the National Trial Competition does not allow the competing teams to provide their own witnesses.  Instead, the tournament recruits hundreds of volunteers to serve as witnesses for the competition.  The witness is provided copies of the deposition and other relevant materials ahead of time, but only meets with the team for 15 minutes before the mock trial round begins.  This unique format to the National Trial Competition requires competitors to think on their feet and not be tied to a prepared script.

Each year the fact pattern alternates between civil and criminal topics.  This year, the fact pattern is a criminal problem and was written by well-known criminal defense attorney Pamela Mackey.

In order for the national finals to be a success, we need attorneys to volunteer to be judges.  Attorneys with trial experience and litigation backgrounds are encouraged to sign up.  The rounds will take place at the Harris County Civil Courthouse, as follows:

ROUND 1:  8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2015;

ROUND 2:  1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2015; and

ROUND 3:  8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2015.

If you are interested in volunteering as a judge, please email and provide which round you would like to judge and your cellphone number.

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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