Ault Mock Trial Team Secures Top Plaintiff Position and Overall Second Place in Recent Competition

Kelsey Moore and Gianna DeGeorge standing in a courtroom
Left to right: Kelsey Moore and Gianna DeGeorge

The Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County organized a mock trial competition at the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This competition offers students a genuine experience of courtroom proceedings. Participants receive an authentic personal injury case file, can file Motions in Limine, engage with opposing counsel prior to trial, attend pre-trial meetings in judges' chambers, are given their expert witness the night before trial, present their case in front of a jury comprising high school students and benefit from the guidance of a current federal judge presiding over their case.

Representing the Ault Mock Trial Team as litigators this year were Kelsey Moore (3L) and Gianna DeGeorge (3L). Remarkably, for the first time since 2015, the team secured the top plaintiff position in the competition and advanced to the finals. Furthermore, Kelsey Moore received the prestigious top litigator award for her outstanding performance.

This year, the team encountered a rare scenario as their opposing counsel from William and Mary emerged as the top defense team, setting the stage for intense head-to-head competition in both rounds. Both rounds showcased remarkable talent, with the final round concluding with only a 3-point difference. Ultimately, Moore and DeGeorge secured 2nd place overall, with the jury returning a verdict of negligence on the part of the defendant.

"We'd like to express our gratitude to Julia Aliazzi (2L) and Jordyn Daubenmire (2L) for diligently preparing the defense case throughout the semester, ensuring their readiness for trial." Moore and DeGeorge said. "We'd like to also thank Emerson McGinnis (2L) and Amanda Hays (3L) for their contributions as witnesses during the competition. Additionally, we'd like to thank our coach Joe Shell for his unwavering support, encouragement and guidance throughout the semester."

Full 2024 Ault Team pictured inside a courtroom