Ault Mock Trial Team Excels in Finals of Texas Young Lawyers Association’s National Trial Competition

Ault Mock Trial team 2023
From left to right: Bradley Ouambo (Coach, LAW '17), Dave Walters (3L), Veronika Bondarenko (3L), Andrew Thompson (3L), Ryn Wayman (2L), Jordan Weeks (3L) and Lauren Tuttle (Coach, LAW '17)

From March 29 through April 2, the Ault Mock Trial Team competed in the finals of the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s National Trial Competition in San Antonio, Texas. This is the most prestigious mock trial competition in the country with only 30 out of a possible 300 teams advancing to the finals. This year’s national problem focused on the liability of a self-driving car company in a wrongful death suit. 

Regional champions Veronika Bondarenko (‘23), Andrew Thompson (‘23), and Ryn Wayman (‘24) litigated and won three intense rounds of competition against teams from Campbell University, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, and Tulane. The team reached the quarterfinal round for the second consecutive year. The team’s run ended with a close loss against the eventual repeat champions, UCLA School of Law. “Competing in back-to-back National Championships has been the highlight of my law school career. There is no substitute for the insight and connections we received from our judges, many of whom were Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and represent the best of the best in trial advocacy,” said Andrew Thompson (‘23). 

The team was coached by Lauren Tuttle (LAW ‘17) and Bradley Ouambo (LAW ‘17). Students Meghan Lanter (‘23), Dave Walters (‘23), and Jordan Weeks (‘23) participated as witnesses. Only eight of the thirty finalists advanced to the quarter finals and the Ault Mock Trial team was one of only three teams advancing to the quarter finals for a second consecutive year. The Ault Mock Trial team is ranked 5th and 13th nationally in the GAVEL and Trial Competition Performance rankings, respectively.