This year I again, along with co-coach Amy Zacharias, a Pottawattamie County, Iowa, Assistant County Attorney, had the pleasure of teaching trial advocacy to a team of four third-year law students from Creighton University’s School of Law. The team of four prepared for two months to compete at the National Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by Michigan State University College of Law. The team then competed against 25 other schools at the competition held in Lansing Michigan October 25-28. This year’s problem presented a unique set of facts surrounding the strangulation of a socialite. The accused was the family’s handy man who had a long time crush on the victim.
The Creighton students presented well in three very close preliminary rounds. One of our students, Alyssa Jelinske, was presented the award for Best Direct Examination of her witness; portrayed by team member Adam Kuenning. She was selected for this award following the three preliminary rounds in which each of the 26 teams at the competition delivered at least two direct examinations in each of the three rounds.
All of the team members, Alyssa, Adam, Kara Stockdale and Scott Boyce, deserve to be congratulated for their dedication and hard work throughout the process. They devoted nearly every day for two months to developing their trial skills and substantive understanding of the law. As trial lawyers know, being in trial is a trying process (yes, the pun is intended). But the preparation for this competition has prepared these four, and others like them, for the “real life” rigors of trial work.