Aaron Ruffin (JD ’18) wins 2016 Zeliff Trial Bar Competition

Group photo of students and a judge following the Zeliff Competition final argument

Aaron Ruffin (JD '18), Judge David Hall and Daniel Galyon (JD '16) following the 2016 Zeliff Competition final argument.

Aaron Ruffin (JD ’18) is the winner of the 2016 Zeliff Trial Bar Competition. The final argument in Pat Johnson vs. Keep-On Trucking Company, sponsored by the Wake Forest Student Trial Bar, was held 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, in the Worrell Professional Center.

In the final round of the competition Ruffin was representing the plaintiff, Pat Johnson, while Daniel Galyon (JD ’16) was representing the defendant, Keep-On Trucking Co. The case involved trying to determine who was at fault for a traffic accident between Johnson and the driver of a truck for Keep-On Trucking.

“To be a finalist in this competition is truly exceptional,” said Judge David Hall, who serves in District 21B of the Fifth Division of the Superior Court in Forsyth County.

Judge Hall stated after the competition that both advocates were extremely talented, and that the round was one of the closest he has ever presided over.  Judge Hall also mentioned that he wished more attorneys were as talented in trial advocacy as Ruffin and Gaylon

he final four contestants included Anna-Bryce Flowe (JD ’18) and David Giffin (JD ’16).

The elite eight finalists of the competition included Mitch Blankenship (JD ’16), Marcus Fields (JD ’16),  Elissa Hachmeister (JD ’16) and Mike Lang (JD ’16).

The top 12 finalists included Dallas Pastirik (JD ’18), Katherine Ririe (JD ’18), Steven Williams (JD ’18) and Nathan Young (JD ’18). The honorable mentions went to Mary Grace Carey (JD ’18), Libby Casale (JD ’18), Ryan Miles (JD ’17) and Jay Novak (JD ’18).

Zeliff Co-Chairs are Erin Epley (JD ’16), Damón Gray II (JD ’16) and Chelsea Monroe (JD ’16).

“The Wake Forest Trial Bar Association is very appreciative of Chelsea Monroe, Erin Epley and Damon Gray for putting on a fantastic competition,” said Joshua Bussen (JD ’16), president of the Wake Forest Trial Bar Association.