Annual Grossman Trial Competition begins
The 33rd annual Grossman Trial Competition preliminary rounds begin this month, with the final round taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 9, in the ceremonial courtroom of the James M. Hanley Federal Building in Syracuse.
“In addition to observing the College of Law’s finest advocates, this year’s final round will be especially rewarding,” says Michael A. Kaplan, a third-year student and executive director of the Moot Court Honor Society. “At the end of the competition, we will unveil the Frank H. Armani L’56 Advocacy Award. The award serves to acknowledge the duty all lawyers have to provide—zealous and ethical legal representation. In honor of Frank H. Armani, who upheld this duty in the face of inconceivable opposition, this award will be presented annually to the student attorney who best demonstrates these attributes throughout the Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition.”
Armani stands as a role model for legal ethics and is widely regarded as a hero within the legal profession. In 1973, he made an immeasurable personal sacrifice during his representation of Robert Garrow, the defendant in the Lake Pleasant Murder case in Lake Pleasant, N.Y. He has received numerous awards, including a distinguished-lawyer award from the Onondaga County Bar Association in 2006 and, more recently, a nomination for the Michael Franck Award presented by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. Armani has graciously agreed to serve as evaluator during the final round, and present the inaugural Advocacy award.
This year, Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby L’85, United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York, will serve as the presiding judge. The Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals, as well as Armani, will serve as evaluators during the final round and participate in the award ceremony.
In addition to Pigott and Armani, Stuart London L’79; William J. Fitzpatrick L’76; Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York; Anthony Bottar; Mae A. D’Agistino L’80; professor emeritus Travis H.D. Lewin; and professor Thomas J. Maroney L’63 will also serve on the honorary final round panel.
The competition is named after alumnus Lionel O. Grossman L’16. With the help of Lewin, this year’s competition involves a complete trial based on a thought-provoking criminal fact pattern.