Duquesne University Law School students have been named the regional champions and runners-up of the prestigious National Student Trial Advocacy Competition sponsored by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA).This is the first time two Duquesne teams competed against each other for top honors at the regional championships. This also marks the second consecutive year that Duquesne has been named regional champ, and it is the fifth regional championship in just seven years for the Law School. The winning team will contend with 13 other teams at the national championship from March 30 to April 2 in Miami, Florida.
Duquesne’s two teams were among eight other law schools competing in the Indiana Region, which includes Widener, Indiana University of Bloomington, Loyola and Texas Tech. After beating all of the other teams by unanimous decisions, Duquesne’s team of third-year students defeated its fellow team of second-year students by a vote of two to one in the final round of competition.
Members of the winning team are Marissa Colaizzi, Jill Lipman, Lisa Mantella and Michelle Mantine. The second-place team, which accumulated the highest point total overall, are Cynthia Adimari, Michael Profeta, April Trimble and Michael Waltman.
Led by Law Professors Michael Streib and Bruce Antkowiak, Duquesne’s mock trial teams are composed of second- and third-year law students who are selected based on performance in a year-long trial advocacy course offered to second-year law students.
ATLA is the world’s largest association of trial advocates, with more than 60,000 members worldwide. Its national mock trial competition is open to law schools nationwide and annually draws entries from nearly 900 law students representing 224 teams from more than 130 law schools. The competition always focuses on civil cases, and the law students are judged on their advocacy skills and case presentation.