Published on March 15, 2012 by Mary Wimberley  

While many students at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law will enjoy a breather during spring break next week, two mock trial teams will compete for top national honors. Both teams qualified for national level competition after winning regional titles earlier this year.

Team members Danny Patterson, Jennifer Reynolds and Chambers Waller will compete in National Trial Competition in Austin, Texas, March 21-24.

The team qualified after defeating a University of Florida law school team in the final round of regional competition in Orlando, Fla., in February. More than 300 teams began the competition process that ended with 28 teams qualifying for the national event, sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers.  Coaches for the Cumberland team, which also included Keith Knowlton in the regional event, are James Roberts, Jr., and Sara Williams.

Cumberland teammates Michael Eldridge, Maurine Evans, Drew Haskins and Brittany Stancombe will compete in the National Student Trial Advocacy competition March 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nev.

The foursome defeated another Cumberland team in the final round of regional American Association for Justice trial advocacy competition in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on March 4. Both Cumberland teams were undefeated in preliminary and semi-final rounds. The top team, coached by Marc Jaskolka and Mike Rasmussen, is among 14 to advance to the national level out of 230 that competed in regional events.

Cumberland's trial advocacy program is ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's Best Law Schools listings.


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.