Shannon Cornman O’Guin of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law took second place in National Top Gun Mock Trial competition, which ended June 5. The May Cumberland graduate lost to a competitor from Yale Law School in the final round of the event hosted by Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas.
The Top Gun competition, in its second year, is limited to 18 law schools that send their single best student trial advocates.
O’Guin, a veteran member of the Cumberland mock trial team, was chosen for the Top Gun event through an intra-school selection process. Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., O’Guin is a 2008 graduate of Samford, where she was a history major.
She had defeated a competitor from Suffolk University law school in the semi-final round of the Top Gun eliminations before advancing to the final round.
All Top Gun competitors participated in four rounds, switching sides after two rounds. The top four competitors advanced to a single elimination tournament in the unusually challenging event.
Top Gun participants do not know details of their case until 24 hours before competition. During that time, they take deposition of a witness, review existing depositions, records and photographs, and tour sites where events in the case supposedly occurred. The student advocates meet their witnesses for the first time shortly before each round.
The winner from Yale, Sarah Chervinsky, took home the top prize of $10,000.