College of Law wins National Civil Trial Competition

lawwinnersSyracuse University College of Law was named the champion of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ 11th Annual National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC) on Nov. 18, at an awards banquet held at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif.

The winning members of the Syracuse University College of Law team included Christopher DeFrancesco, Jason Feldman, Mary Louise Wright and Ryan Campbell; Illianov Lopez was an alternate. The “Best Advocate/Final Rounds” award and the “Best Advocate/Preliminary Rounds” award went to Feldman. The team was coached by Joanne VanDyke L’87, and assistant coaches Professor Travis Lewin, Joe Cote L’87 and Jeff Leibo L’03.

“This was an outstanding victory for our trial team, coaches and the College of Law—one of which we can all be proud. We look forward to being the home of the NCTC Championship Cup for the next year,” says Lucille Rignanese L’99, faculty director for the Moot Court Honor Society and Advocacy.

Each law school that participated in the competition sent a team of four students currently enrolled in the Law School’s J.D. program. The teams were required to act as witnesses and advocates, and had to argue both sides of a hypothetical civil lawsuit based on a real-life unlawful violence and unlawful termination case, where an actress alleged that she was struck across the face by her show’s creator and was terminated shortly after making a formal complaint to studio executives.

The annual three-day competition began on Nov.16 with the first elimination round at the Santa Monica Courthouse. The four law schools in contention for the championship were: Cumberland School of Law, Duquesne University School of Law, Stetson University College of Law and Syracuse University College of Law. Syracuse University College of Law beat Stetson University College of Law in the semi-finals to advance to the finals, and Duquesne University School of Law beat Cumberland School of Law to also advance to the finals.

More than 100 members of the greater Los Angeles legal community volunteered as tournament judges. The final rounds of the National Civil Trial Competition were presided over by federal magistrate Judge Jay Ghandi. The 16 law schools competing this year included: Baylor Law School; Charlotte School of Law; Chicago-Kent College of Law; Cumberland School of Law; Duquesne University School of Law; Loyola Law School; Los Angeles; Loyola University of Chicago School of Law; University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; St. Mary’s University School of Law; Stetson University College of Law; Suffolk University Law School; Syracuse University College of Law; Temple University Beasley School of Law; University of Akron School of Law; University of Houston Law Center; and Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.