Stetson Trial Team Wins AAJ Regional Competition and Advances to Nationals

Congratulations to our American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trial Team Members!

Please join me in congratulating our members of the AAJ team – Brooke Batton Charlan, Stanton Fears, Phylicia Pearson and Kyle Ross – who participated in the southeast region of the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this past weekend. Our Stetson team has earned the right to compete in the national competition to be held April 16-19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition is one of the most brutally competitive trial advocacy tournaments in the country. It is one of the two largest mock trial competitions, where every law school in the country is permitted to send 1-2 teams to regionals. This year, there were 224 law school teams competing in the qualifying rounds. Each of those schools was feverishly fighting to make it out of one of 14 regions. Stetson made it out!

For this competition, our team tried a products liability case on both the plaintiff and defense sides. During the preliminary rounds, the Stetson team faced teams from Mercer, University of Florida and Florida Coastal. After those preliminary rounds, the Stetson team was undefeated and entered into the semi-final round versus Florida International University. After a hard fought battle, Stetson again emerged victorious. The final round against Florida State University was an even harder fought battle that resulted in a Stetson win. Every bit as important was the consistent praise that our team members received from judges and competition organizers. That praise was so great that it resulted in two Stetson advocates getting job offers during critique! The exceptional talent shown by the Stetson students was overwhelming at times. Stetson strives to set apart our students from others and these advocates made it look easy. Our team again made it clear to all onlookers and adversaries why Stetson is Stetson.

The team was greatly supported by fellow team members Chad Florin, Daniel Miles, Franklin Farago and Allison Stevenson. The Stetson teams were coached by alum Shaun Cummings L’14 and Professor Michele Joiner. A special thank you to all the Stetson professors and Trial Team alum who came out to assist the team with its preparations. Stay tuned for the results from the AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition Nationals…