Campbell Law advocates earn championship finalist trophy at NTC regionals

Photo of Mike Vitale '22 and Miriam Sheppard '22

Campbell Law School third-year students Michael Vitale and Miriam Sheppard, and second-year students Christian Allred, Corey Goss and Adia McLaughlin competed at the National Trial Competition (NTC) regional tournament Feb. 12-13. The competition was hosted by the University of South Carolina. This year’s competition problem involved prosecuting an individual alleged to have violated federal law by possessing with the intent to distribute approximately 3 grams of a controlled substance (cocaine). Eighteen law school teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri and Virginia competed in the tournament.

Both teams of Campbell Law advocates – Vitale and Sheppard on one; Allred, Goss and McLaughlin on the other – drew strong opponents in the preliminary rounds. They faced teams from Wake Forest Law, Duke Law, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law and William & Mary Law schools in the preliminary rounds. Vitale and Sheppard swept their preliminary opponents handily. After the preliminary rounds, Vitale and Sheppard were named the No. 1 seed in the competition and advanced to the semifinal round as undefeated. The 2L team narrowly missed out on advancing.

In the semifinal round, Vitale and Sheppard skillfully defeated their opponents by winning every judge’s ballot. That placed them in the championship round. Vitale and Sheppard represented the defendant against a team from South Carolina representing the government.

“After the three-hour trial, Vitale and Sheppard finished as championship runners-up – a terrific result that will bring a Regional Championship finalist trophy to Campbell Law,” said Director of Competitive Advocacy Tatiana Terry ’19. “Please join me in congratulating all of these outstanding student advocates for their success, dedication, and hard work in representing Campbell Law!”

Both teams were proudly coached by Maria Hawkins ’12 and Terry. Vitale and Sheppard were aided by fellow teammate 3L Christian Lunghi, who spent countless hours preparing and developing the technical aspects of trying their case via Zoom.

“The team would also like to thank the many student volunteers who helped prepare them for the competition over the past month – many of whom gave up significant time to assist the students in their witness preparations,” Terry added. “Finally, the team is enormously grateful to Dean Rich Leonard and the support of the Campbell Law community who aid in making opportunities like these possible. Mike and Miriam received several compliments from multiple judges, and they credit their success to hard work and the practical preparation they receive as Campbell Law students.”