Published on March 9, 2021 by Morgan Black
For the second time in a month, Cumberland’s National Trial Teams dominated a major regional competition. During the first weekend of March, Cumberland teams swept the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Regional Trial Advocacy Competition.
After defeating teams from across the country, the final round was all Cumberland. The team of third-year students Rylee Davis, Alex Messmore and Nick Patti, and second-year students Elizabeth Weyerman and Bailee Curtis won the tournament. This team will be one of 12 law school advocacy teams represented at the national competition April 15-18. Curtis Seal ’17 and Spenser Templeton ’15 coached this team. The team of third-year students John Banks and Rachel Williams, and second-year students Meredith Buckner, Dillon Rheuby and Olivia Hall also reached the finals. This team was coached by Michael Eldridge ’12 and Julie McMakin ’09. Each Cumberland team amassed 4-0 records before meeting each other in the finals.
Judge Jim Roberts ’94, head coach of National Trial Teams said, "The Cumberland v. Cumberland final round of the AAJ Central-1 regional is a testament to the strength of our program. From the tremendously talented students to the exceptionally dedicated coaches who invest countless hours into the growth of our students, Cumberland remains a premier trial advocacy program. I am so thankful to these students and coaches for their contributions to the outstanding legacy of Cumberland advocacy."
Cumberland’s National Mediation Team also had an outstanding performance at the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Representation in Mediation Regional Competition. The team of second-year students Selena McEwen-Wood and Holly Miller reached the finals of the competition after winning every ballot in their preliminary rounds. Third-year students Madison Cumby and Hannah Trucks also competed in this competition and scored highly. These teams were coached by Travis Johns ’18 and Paige Carraway ’18.
“The amount of preparation, perseverance, and teamwork on this team was outstanding. We held completely remote practices to prepare for the remote competition, and all of our team members went above and beyond to accomplish this result. This was a true team effort in every sense of the phrase, and this result reflects on the hard work of the team members,” Johns and Carraway said.
Throughout the course of this year, Cumberland student teams have excelled in their virtual competitions. They have won a regional arbitration competition and competed at nationals, they were finalists at a regional moot court competition and reached nationals, they were finalists in the regional mediation competition, and they won championships at numerous trial advocacy competitions and are going to nationals in two major competitions. Cumberland’s advocacy program continues to develop ethical, effective advocates and is one of the best advocacy programs in the United States.
“These exceptional results are indicative of the quality of Cumberland’s advocacy program,” said Ramona Albin, director of advocacy programs. “Our program truly helps develop our students’ diverse voices and enables them to develop as advocates and individuals.”
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