Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-02-26

Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law will be represented by mock trial teams at two national competitions this spring. Both teams won regional victories in recent weeks to advance to the national level in their respective events.

A four-person team qualifed for national competition sponsored by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) after winning regional competition held in Birmingham Feb. 13-14. Team members are Brian Kilgore of Birmingham, Andy Pascual of Clarkston, Ga., Brett Turnbull of Fairhope and Gerard Virga of Panama City Beach, Fla. Cumberland adjunct faculty member Michael Rasmussen is team coach.

The national competition will be in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 11-14. In ATLA competition, trial teams argue cases based on plaintiff’s issues, using the same case at all levels of competition.

A three-person National Trial Competition (NTC) team advanced to the national level after besting 20 teams at the regional event held in Birmingham Feb. 20-21. Team members are Kevin Latta of Lynnville, Tenn., Ashley Mims of Marietta, Ga., and Ricardo Woods of Natchez, Miss. Cumberland adjunct faculty member James Roberts is team coach.

The national competition will be in Austin, Texas, March 24-27. In NTC events, teams argue different cases, based on civil or criminal issues, at regional and national events.

“I am extremely proud that teams from Cumberland School of Law have won the regional championships of these prestigious competitions and will now represent us at the national level,” said John L. Carroll, dean of Cumberland School of Law.

“We are among a very few schools that will send teams to both national championships. The hard work and dedication of the students and their coaches has helped Cumberland maintain its position as one of the premier trial advocacy programs in the U.S.”


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.