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Students Sweep Competitions


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National Civil Trial Competition winners Derrick Connell, Katelyn Knaak, Allana Forte and Olesea Collins

National Civil Trial Competition winners Derrick Connell, Katelyn Knaak, Allana Forte and Olesea Collins. Click for high-resolution image.

Students from Stetson University College of Law came home champions this weekend from two national competitions on the east and west coasts of the United States. Stetson teams won both the eighth annual National Civil Trial Competition in California and the inaugural Navy JAG Corps National Moot Court Competition in Florida.

Stetson’s trial team of Olesea Collins, Derrick Connell, Allana Forte and Katelyn Knaak competed against teams from 15 other law schools around the country to win the National Civil Trial Competition Nov. 14 at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Connell was named Best Advocate in both the preliminary and final rounds, a first for the competition. Professors Roberta Flowers and Lee Coppock coached the winning team to victory. More than 100 members of the Los Angeles legal community volunteered to judge the competition, including a U.S. magistrate judge and Los Angeles Superior Court judges. The competition was sponsored by the law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler.

Navy JAG Corps 2009 National Moot Court Competition winners Amie Patty; Joseph Etter; Rear Adm. Nanette DeRenzi, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy and Commander, Navy Legal Service Command; Brice Zoecklein; and Larry Miccolis.

Navy JAG Corps 2009 National Moot Court Competition winners Amie Patty; Joseph Etter; Rear Adm. Nanette DeRenzi, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy and Commander, Navy Legal Service Command; Brice Zoecklein; and Larry Miccolis. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Gay. Click for high-resolution image.

Students Joseph Etter, Larry  Miccolis, Amie Patty and Brice Zoecklein were named the champions of the Navy JAG Corps 2009 National Moot Court Competition at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville on Nov. 14.  Twenty-three teams from law schools across the nation competed, including  Georgetown, Harvard and Yale. Professor Charles Rose, Faculty Moot Court advisor Professor Stephanie Vaughan and Professor Brooke Bowman  helped prepare the winning team, which argued before a group of jurists that included the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, federal district court judges, the Chief Judge of the Department of the Navy, judges from the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, and  judges from the Navy, Army and Marine trial courts.  The competition was hosted by Region Legal Service Office Southeast.

“I can now see why Stetson is the Harvard of advocacy in American legal education,” said Professor Michael Rustad, the Hugh C. Culverhouse Visiting Chair at Stetson. “My observations come from judging several different teams in practice rounds this fall. The difference between Stetson and its competitors is due to its special ethos and sense of community. I think a second factor that accounts for the success is the commitment of the faculty and alumni to coaching, judging and mentoring.”

These wins bring Stetson’s Fall 2009 advocacy championship count to five.  Earlier this semester, Stetson teams came in first and second place in the E. Earl Zehmer Workers’ Compensation Moot Court Competition; Stetson also won the John Marshall Law School International Moot Court Competition in Information Technology and Privacy Law, and the Veterans Law Appellate Advocacy Competition.

Visit Stetson’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy online to learn more at http://www.law.stetson.edu/advocacy/.