A California Western Moot Court Honors Board trial team has won the first-ever head-to-head mock trial competition between San Diego's three law schools.
The team of Jordan B. Du Bois, Melissa M. Mack, Sarah E. Reeb, and Madelynn F. Woodhall won the trophy and a $5,000 prize competing against teams from Thomas Jefferson and the University of San Diego schools of law. Du Bois and Mack are third-year students and veteran competitors. Second-year students Reeb and Woodhall are competition rookies. In the finals, held November 10, they took on a team from Thomas Jefferson, which finished second in a very spirited competition.
The event was sponsored by the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) and held at California Western, with the final round at the Edward Schwartz Federal Courthouse downtown.
"It is exciting to win this very first ABTL trial tournament against USD and TJSL who are two very fine teams," said Professor Mario Conte, advisor to the law school's Moot Court Honors Board. "It is a real tribute to the hard work of our coaches and competitors that we were able to prevail."
"It feels amazing," said Reeb. "We've been preparing for a month, four nights a week, with scrimmages every weekend.
"This means the students are rewarded for all of the hard work they put in," said Du Bois. "I have nothing but respect for the teams from Thomas Jefferson and USD."
"It's a testament to our law school's trial team advocacy program and the skills they build for us," said Mack.
The competitors all had high praise for their coaches, Jim Mangione and Clayton Carr '13.
"They gave us encouragement when we needed it," said Woodhall. "And they never doubted us for one second."
Mangione thinks the reason California Western won the competition is not just because of the fantastic amount of work they put in, but because of their passion.
"The way they presented their arguments really stood out," Mangione said.
The competition was judged by a panel of San Diego attorneys, but U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Battaglia '74 presided over the session in the ceremonial courtroom—not knowing until later which team represented which school in the blind competition.
"It's wonderful,"Battaglia said when he learned his alma mater had won. "The teams were all well-prepared and performed advocacy better than many lawyers I see who don't have this kind of educational support behind them."
California Western congratulates our successful trial team and those who supported them.