Catching Up with the Trial Team

2015 Trial TeamThe UMSL Trial Team competed in the regional tournament of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition in Denver, CO earlier this year. The trial involved a criminal case alleging aggravated assault and domestic violence, with a victim prone to recanting her allegations against her boyfriend. Depending on the random draw, the teams represented both the prosecution and the defense at different times in the competition. Facts of the case and evidence utilized by the teams can be found on the TYLA website.

Leah Tracy and Caitie Boland Aarab represented the 3L team, and Mike Wilson and Robert Padmos represented the 2Ls. Both teams demonstrated superb trial advocacy, exhibiting such a high level of skill and poise that make our school and our state very proud.

Leah and Caitie swept two of the first three rounds, narrowly missing winning the last round by just one judge’s vote, and missing the semifinal nod by only a few points. Demonstrating their experience, Leah and Caitie performed exceptionally well against the upper echelon of participants from opposing law schools. Both Leah and Caitie are gifted advocates, and will make great trial lawyers when they enter practice.

Mike and Robert also performed incredibly well at their first appearance in this national competition, demonstrating a very impressive level of skill. Mike and Robert will participate again next year and represent UM at the regional competition in Oklahoma City. The School of Law and the team is looking forward to seeing them perform.

A special thanks goes out to the other members of the Trial Team including Paige Griffith, Tom McMeans, Eli Inabnit, and Sierra Reyer who worked tirelessly with the team through the winter break in the role of witnesses. Each member also tried the case as counsel at least one time. The teams would not have performed at such a high level had it not been for the help of the members and commitment to the program.

The Trial Team is coached by Zach Franz and Justin Cole. The team recruits two new members each year from the 2L class, and typically four witnesses from the 1L and 2L classes. Current UMSL students that are interested in trying out should contact Mike Wilson or Robert Padmos for more information.