February 23- Stetson Law trial team wins regional ATLA trial competition Team advances to national competition in March

Contact Frank Klim
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Gulfport, Fla. – The Stetson University College of Law trial team won the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Regional Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 19-22. With the victory, the team advances to the national competition Mar. 11-13 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The Stetson team of Nicole Deese, Joel Elsea, Chris Hersem and Shawn McMillen defeated a team from the University of Georgia in the finals. The team went undefeated in the competition through three preliminary rounds and won against a University of Florida team in the semifinals. Sixteen teams from Florida, Georgia and Texas participated in the competition.

A second Stetson team consisting of students Meredith McCall, Slade Dukes, Steven Kay and Sheetal Brahmbhatt also went undefeated in preliminary rounds before facing off against the University of Georgia team in the semifinals.

Trial team graduate Creighton Shafer ’98 coached Stetson’s teams, who were also accompanied by advisor and Stetson Law Professor Pamela Bell.

“I am extremely proud of all the students who competed in the ATLA Regional competition,” Bell said. “They were all extremely professional and represented Stetson well. The final round was tough, but in the end, their skill and conduct made it evident they were the best team. We look forward to the challenges presented in the national competition.”

This victory continued a string of recent success. Stetson trial teams finished first and second in the southeast regionals of the National Trial Competition earlier this month, won The Florida Bar Chester Bedell Memorial Mock Trial Competition last month and finished first and second in the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers’ Honorable E. Earle Zehmer Memorial Mock Trial Competition in November.