Campbell Law third-year students Miriam Sheppard and Mike Vitale, along with second-year students Christian Allred, Adia McLaughlin and Liza Trent finished in the final four of the Tournament of Champions National Mock Trial Competition over the weekend. The team was coached by Director of Competitive Advocacy Tatiana Terry ’19 and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dan Tilly.
The National Board of Trial Advocacy is the annual sponsor of the Tournament of Champions. This year the Tournament of Champions trial competition was hosted by Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The competition problem involved prosecuting and defending an individual charged with murder and/or manslaughter. The trial demanded students apply complex principles of evidence and criminal procedure while persuasively arguing on behalf of the prosecution and defendant.
“Sheppard and Vitale flipped masterfully as lawyers between representing the two opposing sides, often on the same day,” Terry explained.
The Tournament of Champions includes four preliminary rounds before the four highest-ranking teams are named as semi-finalists. After the preliminary rounds, Campbell Law emerged as one of the top teams with an undefeated record of 4-0.
In the first round, Campbell Law faced Samford University, Cumberland School of Law.
“After the first round, judges noted our advocates’ command of the courtroom and mastery of the rules of evidence,” Terry said. “The team went on to face teams from Baylor Law School, Wake Forest University School of Law and Loyola Marymount University School of Law. These universities are well-known as some of the finest advocacy schools in the country. Our Campbell Law advocates defeated all of these teams. After advancing to the final four, our advocates presented a strong case in the semi-final round against a tough University of California Berkely School of Law team. Both teams were polished and talented.”
Campbell Law was narrowly defeated by four points on split ballots, Terry explained.
“Our team placed in the competition as semi-finalists – a terrific result,” she said. “While the team did not advance to the final round, the exemplary performance of Miriam, Mike, Christian, Adia and Liza earned Campbell Law an invitation to the 2022 Top Gun Mock Trial Competition. Please join me in congratulating these outstanding student advocates for their success, dedication, and hard work in representing Campbell Law!”