After resounding regional victories at the National Trial Competition (NTC) and the Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC), UM Carey Law’s National Trial Team advanced to national finals in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas. The NTC is sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers; STAC is sponsored by the American Association for Justice.
Professor Jerome Deise, who directs the Trial Advocacy Program, serves as the team’s faculty advisor; A.J. Bellido de Luna ’04, managing director of the Clinical Law Program, serves as head coach. Nearly 20 UM Carey alumni coached, judged and supported the students
For instance, at the STAC national competition In Las Vegas, 3Ls Lindsey Cook and Lindsey Lanzendorfer along with 2Ls Wayne Heavener and Marshall Jackson received a pep talk from several judges on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, who took time away from a conference to wish them well: the Honorable Kendra Ausby, the Honorable Yvette M. Bryant ’86, the Honorable Marcella A. Holland ’83, and the Honorable Robert B. Kershaw ’77. Although the team swept the preliminary and semifinals rounds against 14 teams--and finished the final round with a nearly perfect performance score--the ballots of the three judges were split, and victory went to Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.
In Austin, 3L Charles Austin and 2L Robert Carlson competed against teams from 27 other schools in the NTC finals, which bring together the best among 300 teams competing in 14 regions. The UM Carey Law team went three rounds against strong teams, but more split ballots meant that they did not advance.
"This year has been among the most successful in the history of the Trial Advocacy Program,” Deise said. “I have only the greatest pride in and deepest respect for our team.”