Law Students Win Third Consecutive AAJ Regional Title

Posted on March 16, 2011

A team of Duquesne law school students has won the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Regional Competition in Pittsburgh for the third consecutive year.

Trial team members Clancy Boylan, Sarah Bronder, Katie Chengery and Brendan McKenna defeated Capital University, Case Western Reserve, the University of Pittsburgh and both University of Akron teams in head-to-head competition during the semi-final and final rounds of the AAJ competition, which was held March 4 to 6. The team won every trial in the competition, trying both the plaintiff and defense sides of a civil case. As a result, the team will participate at the national AAJ competition in Las Vegas on March 31.

A second Duquesne trial team consisting of Clarissa Chenoweth, Emily Comport, Tiffany Germann and Kevin Marshall also performed exceptionally well, defeating the University of Cincinnati and Cleveland State University, but they were narrowly defeated by a University of Akron team.

Overall, both Duquesne teams outscored teams from the University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, Capital University, Case Western Reserve, Michigan State University, Thomas Cooley Law School, University of Toledo and the University of Pittsburgh.

The trial teams are coached by Law Professors Michael Streib and Amelia Michele Joiner, who direct the trial advocacy program, and Adjunct Law Professor Michael Gianantonio, a 2002 law school graduate.

“This was one of the most brutally competitive trial advocacy tournaments I have ever seen,” said Streib. “I am completely overwhelmed by the exceptional talent shown by these students.”

“Our teams continue to impress me and the legal community at large, with their skills,” added Joiner. “We strive to set apart our students from others, and the student trial advocates make this endeavor easy.”

Established in 1946 as the National Association of Claimants’ Compensation Attorneys, the AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar. The AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition is an annual nationwide mock trial competition, intended to inspire excellence in trial advocacy through training and education for both law students and practicing attorneys.

“This has been a phenomenal year for our trial moot court program,” said Law School Dean Ken Gormley. “Our student advocates have been praised by competition judges as talented and professional in every way. Our coaches have set a high bar for excellence, making the law school’s program one of the most respected in the United States. We are proud of these incredible efforts.”

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