Student Trial Advocacy team named American Association of Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Regional Champions
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Office of Communications and Public Relations
March 25, 2015
Wake Forest Law fielded two teams in the American Association of Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Regional Competition (STAC) held in Raleigh, N.C., over the weekend of March 20, 2015. The second team representing Wake Forest, led by team captain Josh Adam (’15) and teammates Daniel Galyon (’16), McKinney Brown (’15), and Zabrina Delgado (’16), was named AAJ Regional Champion and will advance to the final rounds.
According to AAJ Trial Team Head Coach Matt Breeding (’06) and Assistant Coach Katie King (’12), both teams represented the law school with poise, precision and professionalism throughout the competition.
The winning team, led by Adams, made AAJ Regional Competition history by winning every judge in every round, something that regional coordinators claim had never before been accomplished.
Brown and Galyon represented the defense in the semifinal round and were praised for their acts of class, kindness and overall mastery of the subject while on the stand, despite incredible preparation of their opponent notwithstanding.
“This is what separates Wake Forest’s Trial Practice Program from those of other schools. We recognize that kindness and competence are not mutually-exclusive,” says Head Coach Breeding. “We treat our opponents with respect and dignity and carry ourselves with confident humility.”
In the final round, Adams and Delgado represented the plaintiff in an effective presentation that “commanded the courtroom,” according to Breeding. Judge James C. Devers III, the Chief Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, applauded coordinators for the team’s talent that supersedes most lawyers that argue in front of him in federal court.
The team will now advance to compete against teams from around the country in Pittsburg, Pa., in an effort to win the national title.
The first team representing Wake Forest Law, led by team captain Alina Buccella (’15) and teammates Joshua Bussen (’16), Carson Smith (’16) and Damon Gray (’16), finished as runners-up in the Regional Competition despite accumulating the highest point total of any team in the field. The team narrowly missed the final four, finishing in fifth place in the entire competition.
The American AAJ Trial Team promotes skill and excellence in trial advocacy through practice and competition. The team is comprised of members chosen through a selection process. With the help of two local practicing attorneys, students practice trial advocacy skills regularly throughout the school year in preparation for the annual AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition held in the spring of each year.
According to their website, AAJ seeks to inspire excellence in trial advocacy through training and education for both law students and practicing attorneys. The association accomplishes this goal in part by sponsoring the National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, an annual nationwide mock trial competition. The competition is an exceptional opportunity for law students to develop and practice their trial advocacy skills before distinguished members of the bar and bench.
To learn more about AAJ and the STAC competition, visit the AAJ website.