UC-Berkeley School of Law Student Wins Baylor Law School's 2013 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition

June 10, 2013

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WACO, Texas (June 10, 2013) - Collin Tierney, a student at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, took home the top prize at Baylor Law School's 2013 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition on June 9. Along with being named Top Gun, Tierney received a prize of $10,000.

Kaitlyn Flynn of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University won second place.

"I actually had known about Top Gun for several years and it was my dream just to be invited here," Tierney said. "It was amazing to win a national championship; something I have been chasing ever since I was competing in mock trial while in high school."

Founded in 2010, the invitation-only Top Gun competition creates a challenging atmosphere for competitors. Unlike other mock trial competitions, participants do not receive the case file until they arrive in Waco -- just 24 hours before the first round of trials begin.

Preparation includes reviewing depositions, records and photographs, and taking a trip to the actual places where events in the hypothetical case occurred. Shortly before each round, competitors are assigned a witness or witnesses who may be used at participants' discretion during the round. The jurors for each round are distinguished trial lawyers and judges.

The National Top Gun Mock Trial Competition is limited to 16 law schools with a single student, instead of the usual two, representing each school. Baylor Law, as the organizing institution, does not field a team.

This year, the competitors argued a case concerning an Afghan war veteran who was accidentally shot by a fellow veteran and permanently disabled during a fight outside of a local bar. The court was asked to decide whether the shooting stemmed from the bar negligently serving alcohol to the veteran who committed the shooting or whether post-traumatic stress syndrome was the underlying cause of the incident.

"After watching this competition I can tell you that there are no losers," said Roy Barrett, president of the Waco office of Naman Howell Smith & Lee PLLC. "The only lawyers who lose are those who do not zealously and properly represent their clients."

Along with Baylor Law School, the 2013 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition was sponsored by Naman Howell Smith & Lee, which has offices in Austin, Fort Worth, Harker Heights, Temple and Waco.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S.News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is ranked No. 54 in the magazine's 2013 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." Learn more at www.baylor.edu/law.

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