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March 4, 2014

Mock Trial team excels at regional competition in San Jose

The University of Oregon School of Law Mock Trial Team competed in the regional mock trial competition in Santa Clara, California, from Feb. 21-22. The team was comprised of law students Eric Pickard, Kelsey Fleharty, Tyler Call, Benjamin Harris, and James Bunts.

“It was a perfect primer in trial advocacy and dovetailed very nicely with my coursework and clinical undertakings,” said Harris. “It was stressful at times, but also vindicating because it was the culmination of months of hard work by our team.”

The competition included 22 total teams including schools such as the University of Washington, Gonzaga, Willamette, Lewis & Clark, Stanford, Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Hasting, McGeorge, and Golden Gate. All 22 teams completed two rounds, and the eight highest-scoring teams moved on to the semi-finals to compete in a knockout round. Teams were matched according to ‘power ranking,’ meaning the highest scoring team competed against the lowest, etc. Four teams moved past the semi-finals, and the top two teams in the final round will advance to the national competition in San Antonio, Texas.

Call, Harris, and Bunts competed very well, but just missed the point qualification to move to the semi-finals. Pickard and Fleharty advanced to the semi-finals, and lost by only two points to the host school, Santa Clara.

“The overall experience was incredibly valuable as it allowed me to develop my own skills and also witness the talent in West Coast law schools,” said Fleharty. “I was tremendously impressed by the level of competition and it made me excited for the future of the legal community in all three states: Oregon, Washington, and California.

Harris added, “More than anything, this competition highlighted the importance of professionalism, respect, and integrity in the legal profession, as well as the absolute importance of training, competency, and teamwork. Teamwork is crucial in these types of competitions, and I can’t thank my teammates enough for their outstanding commitment and performances.”

“The team members should be proud of their work and of their growth in trial practice. I am extremely proud of each of them,” said Scott Bradford, Assistant U.S. Attorney, who worked closely with the team.

Harris spoke highly of Bradford’s help, “I would be remiss without mentioning the tireless, noble, and altruistic efforts of our coach Scott Bradford. We could not have asked for a better mentor and leader.”

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