Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-03-03


A mock trial team from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law bested a field of 16 teams to win regional competition sponsored by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend (Feb. 26-28).

Cumberland teammates Shannon Cornman of Knoxville, Tenn., Timothy Douthit of Huntsville, Ala., Megan Murren of Monroe, Ga., and Reanna Todd of Springfield, Tenn., defeated Baylor University Law School in the final round to post an undefeated record.

They will now represent the region in national AAJ competition March 18-21 in New Orleans, La., where they will meet teams from the AAJ’s other 13 regions. AAJ competition involves civil cases in which teams are judged on skills in case preparation, opening statements, use of facts, the examination of lay and expert witnesses, and closing arguments.

A second Cumberland team comprised of Beau Darley, Amanda Kistler, Daniel Milton and Brandon Prince missed advancing to the AAJ semi-final round by one point.

The teams are coached by Cumberland alumni Michael Rasmussen and Marc Jaskolka.

The winning AAJ competitors make the second Cumberland mock trial team to qualify for 2010 national competition.  Earlier this winter, Cumberland teammates Ashley Reitz, Josh Hornady and Robert Price won regional honors in competition sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers’ Association and the American Bar Association. They will compete at the national level in Dallas, Texas, March 24-28.

According to Cumberland dean John L. Carroll, the law school is one of few in the nation to have won regional titles in both competitions this year.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.