Northwestern Law team takes first place in regional finals of national trial competition
A Northwestern Law team won first place in the Midwest Regional Finals of the National Trial Competition, compiling a perfect 4-0 record in the four rounds of competition.
In the second tournament championship this year for Northwestern Law, the Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy team defeated the University of Notre Dame Law School in the final round in one of the oldest and most prestigious mock trial competitions in the United States. The Midwest Regional Finals were held this past weekend in Indianapolis.
“Our students and coaches were outstanding in every way: talent, brains, effort and commitment,” said Steven Lubet, the Williams Memorial Professor of Law and director of the Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy. “Our whole community is very proud of them.”
The mock trial teams included Northwestern Law students RoseMarie Maliekel JD '10 and team captain Amitabh Banerji JD '10, who defeated the Notre Dame team, and Rusty O’Kane JD '10 and Brooke Pyo JD '11, who were undefeated in the preliminary rounds, before losing a narrow 2-1 decision in the semifinals.
Banerji and Maliekel will go on to compete for the National Trial Championship in Dallas March 24 to 27. Each region sends two teams to the national finals in Texas; IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law was the other co-champion in this year’s Midwest Regional.
The Northwestern team was coached by Richard Levin and Adam Riback of the Levin Riback Law Group.
This is Northwestern Law’s sixth tournament championship in the last five years. Bartlit Center Trial teams have won the National Trial Championship three times, most recently in 2002, capturing both first and second places.
A trial team consists of two graduating seniors who serve as the trial attorneys. Each law school is permitted to send two teams to the competition. Each trial involves opening and closing statements as well as direct and cross examinations of each of the four witnesses. (Each side has two witnesses). The competition problem alternates between civil and criminal.
Northwestern Law Bartlit Center Trial Team
Front row (left to right): Coach Adam Riback, Brooke Pyo, RoseMarie Maliekel, Laura Babinsky, Coach Richard Levin; Middle row (left to right): Rusty O’Kane, Johnny Douglas, Amanda Barrera, Kelsey Vidaillit, Amitabh Banerji; Back row: Matthew Salerno.