Baylor Mock Trial Team Wins ATLA Regional Contest

March 6, 2000

by Alan Hunt

The Baylor University Law School Mock Trial Team went undefeated in five trials, becoming the regional co-champion of the Texas/Louisiana region in the Student Trial Advocacy Competition, sponsored during the weekend by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA).

Team coach Professor Gerald Powell said the Baylor students defeated teams from the University of Houston, St. Mary's University, South Texas College of Law and the University of Texas in the contest, which was held in Austin. He said the Baylor team will now advance to the national competition in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 24-26.

The winning Baylor team was composed of Jamal Alsaffar of Round Rock and Chris LaVigne of Sterling Heights, Mich., as lawyers, and Rhonda Thompson of Waco and Henry Paoli of El Paso as witnesses. Powell said they represented Baylor "magnificently."

Baylor Law School has won the regional ATLA competition every year that the school has entered--five years in a row since 1996. Last year, Baylor placed third in the national final. More than 200 teams from law schools around the country compete in the ATLA contest, which is one of the largest and oldest trial advocacy competitions in the nation.

Last month, Baylor won the regional tournament of the National Trial Competition, sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers. As a result of these two regional wins, Baylor will compete for the national championship in both of the prestigious national mock trial competitons.

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