The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law claimed a national title with its final-round victory Oct. 19 over the University of Florida Levin College of Law in the St. Mary’s University School of Law’s annual Lone Star Classic mock trial competition. Maryland Carey Law third-year student Ben Garmoe also won an individual award for Best Closing Argument.
The Classic, which was held Oct. 17-19, is an invitational mock trial competition for ABA-accredited law schools across the nation. St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, has hosted it for 15 years. The 2015 competition featured 16 law schools.
“The University of Maryland claimed the title after three years of participating in the Lone Star Classic and making it to the semifinals each of those years,” said Ramona Lampley, Associate Professor at St. Mary’s Law and associate director of the Classic. “The judges all commented on the strength of advocacy from the participating teams this year.”
This year’s mock trial “problem” was a case in the imaginary state of Lone Star. In the case, a business man was found dead in his home on Valentine’s Day. He had been shot in the back, and his second wife was been charged with murder. Evidence showed that the couple was having marital problems and the husband wanted a divorce. The defendant alleged that she shot her husband in self-defense because she believed that her life was in danger.
“We are very proud of the Trial Team members who helped prepare the team of 3L’s Ben Garmoe, Dan Kaprow, Erick Kim and Morgan Thomas for the competition, “ said Prof. A.J. Bellido de Luna, who directs the National Trial Team. “The team is fortunate to have the assistance of the bench and bar, especially Maryland Carey Law alumni. We would not be successful at competitions without their generosity and guidance,” he added.
The judges who worked with team are: For the U.S. District Court District of Maryland, The Honorable George J. Hazel; For the Circuit Court of Maryland - The Honorable Kendra Ausby, The Honorable Yvette Bryant, The Honorable Melissa Phinn, The Honorable E. Gregory Wells, The Honorable H. James West; For the District Court of Maryland - The Honorable Devy Russell and The Honorable Halee Weinstein.
Maryland Carey Law alumni who coached the team are: Magaly Bittner ʼ14 (assistant coach), Jamar Brown ʼ11, Lindsey Cook ʼ12, Lindsey McCulley ʼ12 (head coach), Miguel Palmeiro ʼ09, Stanley B. Rohd ʼ66, Scott Richman ʼ07, Stan Rohd, Benjamin Salsbury ʼ07, and Justin Wallace ʼ15.
Local Texas judges and attorneys served as judges for the competition. The Honorable John W. Primomo, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Texas; Richard Durbin, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas; and Donna Coltharp, Deputy Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Texas, judged the final round.