SU College of Law wins nation’s largest criminal trial competition
SU College of Law wins nation’s largest criminal trial competitionNovember 15, 2007Jaclyn D. Grossojgrosso@law.syr.edu
Forty criminal trial teams arrived from across the United States, but it was the team from Syracuse University that received the highest honors at the Buffalo-Niagara Trial Competition on Nov. 12 in Buffalo. The competition is the nation’s largest criminal trial competition.
The Syracuse team was composed of four third-year law students: Levi Barrett, Meaghan Hearn, Kristen Kemp and Meghan Ruesch. Barrett won an individual advocacy award for best opening statement, and Ruesch won the best overall advocate award. The Syracuse team defeated a team from Duquesne for the championship.
“We are so proud of the Syracuse team for their remarkable accomplishment. They won every round and did so with such poise, talent and the highest ethical standards. They won great respect from their fellow competitors and coaches, as well as the judges and attorneys who evaluated them,” says Joanne Van Dyke L’87, an adjunct professor who has been coaching SU trial teams for nearly 12 years. “The college places great value in training and educating law students in trial advocacy.”
Van Dyke and fellow coaches Joseph Cote III L’87 and Jean Marie Westlake spend countless hours preparing the students for the competition. The second-year clerks on the team are Shannon Ashford and Tehanie Aboushi.
Professor Emeritus Travis H.D. Lewin authored the problem used by the participants. Erie County Court Judge the Hon. Thomas P. Franczyk L’82 ran the competition and previously was a member of the SU trial team when he was in law school.