TAHP Teams Earn Second and Fifth Place at AAJ Regional Competition
At the regional rounds of the American Association of Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Competition held in Santa Monica, Southwestern's Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP) team of Jessica Balady, Dora Clements, Matthew Stumpf and Daniel Selarz finished in Second Place, and the team of Mackenzie Brown, Kevin Gres, Elliott Jung and J.B. Twomey finished in Fifth Place.
The teams were coached by Armen Amirkhanian '09 and Jennifer Turner '07, and Tony Koutris '96 and Andrew Pongracz '08, respectively. "For the advocates, an opportunity to compete in trial advocacy competitions is invaluable," commented Twomey, who is also TAHP Chair. "The process of preparation with knowledgeable and talented attorney is the most rewarding aspect of competing."
The teams argued a negligence claim set forth by a former hockey player against his former employer. The complaint alleged the team trainer misdiagnosed the player as not having a concussion and allowed him to play in a subsequent game where he allegedly suffered another concussion.
A total of 18 teams competed in the regional competition, which included teams from Brigham Young University, California Western, Chapman University, Loyola Law School, Oklahoma City University, Pepperdine (First Place), Santa Clara Law, Southern Illinois University, Stanford Law School, UCLA, and University of San Diego.
As a member of the team that earned Second Place, Clements said, "Our team was incredibly prepared going into the competition and the judges repeatedly told us that it was our passion that helped us win each round."