St. Mary’s University School of Law finished among the top teams at regional and national competitions in late March.

National Basketball Negotiation Competition

St. Mary’s sent two negotiations teams to New York on March 20-22 to compete in the Fordham Sports Law Forum’s National Basketball Negotiation Competition. Both teams made to it the final four out of 32 schools.

The competition, which St. Mary’s won in 2013, consists of head-to-head negotiations between teams of two competitors. Negotiations problems were based on real-world scenarios related to the NBA.

The team of second-year law students Chris Guymon and Gerald Arismendez was a finalist, and the team of second-year law students Tapash Argawal and Zach Stevenson was a semifinalist. Both teams, coached by Allen Craddock (J.D. ’97), will return next year.

Student Trial Advocacy Competition

Two St. Mary’s mock trial teams competed March 28-30 at the regional Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Houston. One finished as runner-up, and the other reached the quarterfinals.

This competition, one of the nation’s premier mock trial competitions, is sponsored by the American Association for Justice, formerly the American Association of Trial Lawyers.

The team of third-year students Joe Patton and Brad Runcie and second-year students Jessica Pritchett and Chandler Bowen went undefeated in the preliminary rounds, beating two Baylor teams and a team from Texas Southern University. They defeated a South Texas College of Law team to advance to the finals, where they lost by a split decision. They were one point from the championship.

The team of third-year student Leslie Vasquez and second-year students Bill Woolsey, Justin Uresti and Travis Rodriguez missed advancing to the semifinals by 0.25 points. Both teams were coached by St. Mary’s Adjunct Professor Nicole Thornbro.

Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition

That same weekend, the St. Mary’s team of second-year student Marisa Aragon and third-year student Amanda Lopez finished as runner-up at the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 19th annual Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition in Orlando, Fla.

Florida Coastal School of Law took the championship of the 34-team event. The St. Mary’s team was coached by Rosa Maria Gonzalez (J.D. ’01).

Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Tournament

These strong showings come on the heels of the St. Mary’s External Advocacy Program Moot Court Team’s victory at the 17th annual Federal Bar Association Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Tournament. Second-year law students Hannah Cottrill and Stephen Bachran teamed up to beat 45 teams to earn their first national title and the EAP moot court team’s second in three years at this event.

The prestigious competition addresses emerging issues of federal statutory and constitutional law. Judges included distinguished members of the federal bench and bar who were in Washington for the Federal Bar Association’s mid-year meeting.

The St. Mary’s EAP Moot Court Team now has won two championships at the FBA Thurgood A. Marshall Moot Court Competition, in addition to the Emory University Civil Rights and Liberties National Moot Court Competition and the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition.

“The very strong showing by all of these teams in regional and national competitions is a strong statement about the quality and dedication of our students and their coaches,” said David Schlueter, J.D., Hardy Professor of Law and Director of the St. Mary’s Law School’s advocacy programs. “We are deeply indebted to them for these outstanding accomplishments in advocacy.”

Moot court, mock trial and negotiations programs are law schools’ extracurricular teams, which compete head to head against other law schools in simulated legal proceedings.  Moot court mirrors a court of appeals. Mock trial mimics the trial process. Negotiations simulates a client counseling and strategic negotiation between two parties outside the courtroom.

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