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Community News

Oct. 27, 2017

Samford University wins National Civil Trial Competition

Students from Samford University Cumberland School of Law outlasted competitors from 16 other schools to claim the national civil litigation prize.

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From left, Justin Levitt, associate dean for research at Loyola Law School; Samford University Cumberland School of Law winning team members Adam York, Denzel Moton, Stephanie Gushlaw, Craig Shirley, Jennifer Jayjohn, team coach 6th Judicial Circuit Judge James H. "Jim" Roberts Jr. of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Susan G. Poehls, Loyola's director of trial advocacy programs; and Geoffrey S. Wells, Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP partner.

Student trial teams from 16 law schools took part in the 16th annual National Civil Trial Competition Oct. 20 through Oct. 22 at the Santa Monica Courthouse and on the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles campus.

Co-sponsored by Loyola Law School and Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP, this year’s event featured 64 law students representing their schools on teams of four. The students from Samford University Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama wrapped up their victory over Chicago-Kent College of Law in the final round.

The competition’s fictional civil case consisted of a mother suing an open-air tour bus company for the wrongful death of her son, who died after his head struck a freeway overpass sign.

Competing students, representing plaintiffs and defendants, delivered opening statements, conducted direct- and cross-examinations, made closing arguments and argued objections before of a panel of judges from the Southern California bar.

“This event is like the Super Bowl for law schools,” said Christine D. Spagnoli, a partner at Greene Broillet & Wheeler and a member of the judges’ panel. “The best student litigants bring their A game to the courtroom. It’s always an exciting and dynamic competition.”

— Shane Nelson


Shane Nelson

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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