University of Akron School of Law Wins Loyola Law School’s 6th Annual National Civil Trial Competition

LOS ANGELES–LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The University of Akron School of Law was announced as the champion of Loyola Law School’s 6th annual National Civil Trial Competition on Saturday, November 17, 2007 at an awards banquet held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The winning members of the Akron team included: Matt Bruce, John Conley, Julie Grant and Ryan Melewski. The “Best Advocate/Final Rounds” award went to John Conley from the University of Akron School of Law; and the “Best Advocate/Preliminary Rounds” award was a tie between Caitlin Ewing from Chicago-Kent College of Law and Aryeh Kaplan from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

The National Civil Trial Competition is “by invitation only” and was started in 2002 by Loyola Law School Prof. Susan Poehls ( Since its inception, the NCTC has been sponsored exclusively by the Santa Monica, CA. law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler (

“The law schools participating in the National Civil Trial competition came prepared to win and put some earnest effort into coming up with novel, creative arguments,” said Prof. Susan Poehls. “It is encouraging to see how seriously the students perceived their role as litigators – it’s their passion for the law that makes our tournament so exciting. And, we are most appreciative of the lawyers and judges who volunteer their time to make the trial experience authentic.”

“Loyola’s National Civil Trial Competition gives law students an opportunity to experience a civil trial from both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s perspective,” stated Timothy J. Wheeler, managing partner of Greene Broillet & Wheeler and a member of Loyola’s Class of 1978, “and exposes them to the real workings of our civil justice system. We are proud to sponsor a program that’s fostering future generations of trial lawyers.”

Over 50 law schools applied to be one of 16 law schools invited to participate in this year’s competition. The three-day tournament began on November 15, 2007 with early elimination rounds held inside the actual courtrooms at the US District Court in Los Angeles. Each school sent a four-member team, with students required to argue both sides of a hypothetical case involving claims of racial harassment by a firefighter alleging that co-workers put dog food in his spaghetti.

On November 17, 2007, the semi-final and final rounds were argued on campus at Loyola’s contemporary Albert H. Girardi Advocacy Center. The four law schools in contention for the championship were: University of Akron School of Law, University of Houston Law Center, Stetson University College of Law, and Washington University in St. Louis.

The final round of the NCTC was held between the University of Akron School of Law and Stetson University College of Law. The “Finalist Trophy” was awarded to Stetson and “Semi-Finalist Trophies” went to University of Houston Law Center and to Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

More than 120 members of the greater Los Angeles legal community volunteered as tournament judges. The “Final Rounds” of the National Civil Trial Competition were presided over by The Hon. Gary Klausner and also judged by Bruce A. Broillet and Alan Van Gelder with Greene Broillet & Wheeler, Tom Girardi with Girardi & Keese, and Mark Robinson with Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson.

The “Semi-Final Rounds” were co-presided over by Federal Public Defender Sean Kennedy and Carl E. Douglas with the Law Offices of Carl E. Douglas along with judges Mark Quigley, Geoff Wells, Scott Carr, Robert D. Jarchi and Ivan Puchalt from Greene Broillet & Wheeler, Amy Solomon from Girardi & Keese and John “Jack” Daniels from Daniels Fine Israel Schonbuch & Lebovits.

This year’s competing law schools included: University of Akron School of Law, University of Alabama Law School, Barry University School of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law, University of Denver College of Law, Hastings College of the Law, University of Houston Law Center, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, St. John’s University School of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

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