|Barry Trial Team Wins National Championship
Beating out 22 teams from across the country and one team from India, the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law Trial Team was crowned champions March 29 at the ABA National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition in Chicago.
This was the first time Barry had ever competed at this competition, which is one of the nation’s most prestigious invitation-only trial advocacy competitions. Barry went undefeated in three preliminary rounds, defeated Tulane in the semi-final round, and then knocked off a tough St. John’s team in the final round to win the competition. In addition to this Trial advocacy championship, which is Barry’s second overall and first against national competitors, this is the sixth Barry Trial Team this year to make it to the final four – an all-time school record.
“Barry has now formally entered the very elite of Trial Teams nationwide by winning this most prestigious, invitation-only competition,” said Associate Professor and Trial Team Faculty Advisor Mitchell Frank. “This national championship caps a year in which Barry Trial Teams reached the incredible total of six final fours and one additional final round. We would never have achieved this without the support of our deans, and the students and coaches who have devoted tens of thousands of hours to building this program. This is simply a tremendous moment for everyone at our Law School.”
Barry’s winning team consisted of Denise Kim and Roy Wolgamuth (advocates), and David Baker and Carla Matinata (witnesses). A vital part of the team’s success was their being pushed by an excellent “shadow” team over the past seven weeks, consisting of Theresa Daniels, Thena Edwards, Marcus Hyatt and Sean Smallwood (all 1Ls). The team was coached by Professor Mark Summers and Professor Frank. Everyone involved worked extraordinarily hard and devoted their spring breaks in pursuit of this championship.
In addition, Kim, a 2L competing against many 3Ls, won the Best Advocate award for the competition. She was acknowledged by Albert Krieger, one of America’s most well-known criminal defense lawyers, as having given one of the best opening statements he had ever heard. “This victory is a tribute to the students, their hard work and dedication, and to the program of which Professor Mitch Frank is the principal architect,” said Summers. “This program has received unwavering support from all the law school deans, past and present, and the University administration.”
As a result of their great performance, Barry’s Trial Team has been invited back to next year’s competition, and an additional invitation was extended by the coordinator of the Puerto Rico Trial Team Competition to attend that tournament this October.
“I could not be more proud of our Trial Team’s accomplishment,” said Barry Law School Dean Leticia M. Diaz. “It takes a tremendous amount of time, preparation and dedication to reach this level of success, and we are fortunate to have students and coaches who have shown relentless effort in ensuring that our Trial Team receives the accolades it deserves. I am thrilled that the rest of the legal community will now know what we at Barry have known for some time; that we have some of the brightest, most talented students in the country.”