CWRU Law School Mock Trial Teams Sweep Top Spots, Advancing to National Competition

Six students on Zoom
CWRU law teams swept the top two spots at the National Trial Competition. (Top row, L-R) Jake Doerr, Dave Walters, Andrew Thompson (Bottom row, L-R) Maddie Kelley, Elena Gutbrod, Athavan Balendran.

After five intense rounds in the midwest regional competition, the Jonathan M. Ault Mock Trial Program at Case Western Reserve University School of Law is advancing an unprecedented two teams to the National Championship round of the National Trial Competition. This will mark the third time in the past six years that teams from CWRU reached the RegionalFinal, earning a berth in the National Championship rounds, and the first time it has swept the top two positions in the Regional.

Established in 1975, the prestigious National Trial Competition is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association.  Over 1,000 students from more than 140 law schools compete.  
The Midwest Regional competition was hosted virtually by Michigan State University on Feb. 3–5, and included teams from law schools in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. The competition involved a criminal case alleging possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. Case Western Reserve had an impressive showing, prevailing against teams from the University of Akron, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ohio Northern University, The Ohio State University and Wayne State University.
The two CWRU teams consisted of: Athavan Balendran (3L), Elena Gutbrod (3L) and Andrew Thompson (2L); and Maddie Kelley (3L), Jake Doerr (3L) and Dave Walters (2L). They will compete at the National Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 30–April 3.

Three masked students sitting at a table for Costello mock trial
CWRU law students reached the quarterfinals at the John L. Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition (from L-R): John Martin, Hope Moreland, Micaela Swim

The same weekend, CWRU School of Law also sent two teams to the John L. Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition in Arlington, VA, on Feb. 3–5. The teams adapted as the evidence evolved and changed throughout the competition, which was a criminal case involving charges of murder and robbery.

The two teams consisted of: John Martin (3L), Hope Moreland (3L) and Micaela Swim (2L); and Sean Williamson (3L), Veronika Bondarenko (2L) and Elizabeth Martinez (2L). The team of Martin, Moreland, and Swim advanced to the Quarterfinals.
Coaching the teams were Lauren Tuttle ('17) and Sean Sweeney ('17).
The School of Law's Mock Trial program is supported by the Jonathan M. Ault Memorial Fund, established in 1984. Based in part on the strength of its Mock Trial and Moot Court programs, CWRU School of Law is ranked 6th best law school in the nation for practical training by National Jurist/PreLaw Magazine.