Baylor Law School To Host National Mock Trial Regional Tourney
by Alan Hunt
About 80 of the "brightest and best" law students from Texas and Louisiana will battle it out at Baylor University during the regional tournament of the National Mock Trial Competition Feb. 14-16 at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.
Gerald R. Powell, who serves as The Abner V. McCall Professor of Evidence at Baylor, said about 10 law schools from the two-state region will be represented, including Baylor, University of Texas, University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, St. Mary's University, South Texas College of Law, Tulane University and Loyola University. Regional contest winners will advance to the national finals March 27-29 in Houston.
"This is the most prestigious of the big mock trial competitions," Powell said. "It is sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association and attracts some of the brightest and best law students. We are excited about hosting the regional tournament and the opportunity to showcase our magnificent facilities."
Powell said the teams will try a criminal case involving murder and kidnapping. The students' performances will be judged by practicing trial lawyers or sitting judges who "are coming from Dallas and Austin and all points in between." All the practice courtrooms, seminar rooms and some classrooms at the Umphrey Law Center will be used for the contest.
Powell said Baylor has won the National Mock Trial Competition twice and has frequently won the regional contest. "Our last successful year was in 2001, when we placed third in the nation," he said. Baylor also hosted the regional contest twice before.
This year, Baylor Law School will be represented by team members Matt Campbell, Danielle Kujawa, Matt Eichman, Tonya Doddy, Steve Skarnulis and Caleb Rawls. Adjunct Professor Kathy Serr is the team coach.
For more information about the tournament program, contact Powell at (254) 710-3611.