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Two YLS Trial Advocacy Teams Qualify for NTC National Championship

Two trial advocacy teams from Yale Law School have won the National Trial Competition (NTC) Region 1 Tournament and will compete in the NTC National Championship to be held in Austin, Texas, March 22-24. The regional tournament was hosted by University of Maine Law School in Portland, Maine, from February 2-5. After a grueling schedule of five trials, each three hours long, both squads emerged victorious to secure the region’s two bids to the national championship. After the results were announced, Patrick Moroney ’12, one of the competitors, said, “The announcement that both Yale teams won was a great way to cap off several months of hard work.”

“For the first time ever, Yale Law will be sending two teams to compete for the national title,” added competitor Barrett Anderson ’12. “It is certainly unusual for a single law school program to win both national bids from one regional competition, and it’s something of which we are particularly proud.”

L-R: Barrett Anderson ’12, Patrick Moroney ’12, and Daniel Young ’12

The two YLS squads advanced to the dual championship rounds of the regional tournament that included a crowded field of 22 teams from law schools all across New England. One Yale team consisted of Patrick Moroney ’12, Daniel Young ’12, and Barrett Anderson ’12, while the second included Edwina Clarke ’13, Andrew Hahn ’13, and Glenn Bridgman ’13. Bridgman was also recognized as one of two Best Advocates in the competition. Bryson Smith ’14 provided invaluable advice and assistance to the teams as they first prepared for and then competed in the tournament.

L-R: Edwina Clarke ’13, Glenn Bridgman ’13, and Andrew Hahn ’13

The case, Stockard v. Murphy, involved a fictional account of a car accident that claimed the life of 17-year-old Channing Stockard. Mitch Murphy, the driver of the car and Channing’s boyfriend, crashed the red Corvette carrying himself and Channing into the back of a parked tractor-trailer, killing her instantly. But was Mitch Murphy really to blame, or was the driver of the tractor-trailer who failed to put out flares, cones, or emergency triangles behind his 18-wheel truck responsible? The Yale teams presented both theories as they alternated between arguing for the plaintiff and the defense.

Securing two national championship bids is another step forward for the law school’s student-led trial advocacy program. Started in 2009, this is the third consecutive year that the program will send at least one team to the NTC National Championship. The program is entirely student-coached and receives financial and logistical support from the Law School.

The two teams will now prepare an entirely new case in preparation for the NTC National Championship, where 28 of the best trial advocacy teams from across the country will vie for the national title. The NTC is sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association and is widely considered the premier trial advocacy competition in the country.