Stetson Law students win national trial competition championship

Contact Brandi Palmer
Communications Specialist

Gulfport, Fla. – A team of students from Stetson University College of Law won the
15th Annual Cathy Bennett National Criminal Trial Competition on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the annual meeting of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Santa Fe, N.M.

The Stetson Law student team of Patricia Calhoun, Samuel Denny, Reneka Redmond, and Ruel Smith beat a student team from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law in the final round of the three-day competition to become national champions.

Teams argued a hypothetical death penalty case. This is the first year a capital litigation problem was used in the competition.

The first place team was awarded $3,000 in scholarship money.

Patricia Calhoun was named the Cathy E. Bennett Best Overall Advocate in the competition. Calhoun and Stetson Law will be added to the NACDL trophy board in Washington. Professor Lee Coppock directs the trial team program. Professor Charles Rose coached the winning team.

“Stetson swept the competition, scoring 5-0 and never losing a round,” said Coppock.
“We have been invited to attend again next year.”

“This is the premier criminal trial competition in the country,” said Rose.

Student teams from around the country were invited to participate in this exclusive event based on reputation and ability. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers co-sponsored this year’s competition with the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.