AAJ Trial Team upholds competitive excellence at regional competition

graphic of the words "wake forest law"

(Winston-Salem, N.C., March 7, 2019) — The Wake Forest AAJ Trial Team was named runner-up in the 2019 AAJ Regional Trial Competition in Raleigh, N.C. The team of third-year students, Ashley DiMuzio, Avery Barber, Caleb Hodge, and Mark Parent, was coached by Donald Pocock (BA ’97, JD ’00).

The regional tournament included three qualifying rounds and two elimination rounds with one winner advancing to the national tournament. Wake Forest Law was the only school in the region to win every ballot in the first three rounds of the competition. As a result, Wake Forest was placed as the No. 1 seed in the elimination rounds.

The final round, which was judged by the Honorable James C. Dever, III, pitted the Demon Deacons against the same Campbell Law team it had defeated earlier in the competition. As plaintiff’s counsel, Barber and Parent delivered the case with Barber presenting the cross examination and Parent making the closing argument. The team’s undefeated-streak came to an end as Campbell Law School was narrowly named the winner of the regional competition.

Coach Pocock was the recipient of numerous compliments from judges and competition officials regarding the skill, poise, and professionalism of the Wake Forest team.

“They demonstrated mastery of trial tactics,” said Coach Pocock in an email. “And they did it as a team – playing as much for each other as they did to win. It has been a distinct honor to serve as their coach.”

Wake Forest also fielded a team of second-year students, which included Samantha Schaffer, Sophia Pappalardo, Alex Alden, and Zac Harris. They faced the University of South Carolina, Charleston, and the University of North Carolina. Although the 2L team garnered more collective points than their opponents, they did not place among the top four teams to advance to the elimination rounds.

Coach Pocock adds, “The students all remarked that while this experience was the most difficult and challenging of their law school careers, it was also the most rewarding and educational, giving them hard, practical experience in the art of trying a case and thinking like a lawyer.”

Since 2017, Wake Forest School of Law has brought home four national championship in just two years with the National Trial Team most recently winning the 2018 TOC in October. The win makes Wake Forest the only law school to win the AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition, the National Moot Court Competition, the American College of Trial Lawyers National Trial Competition, and the Tournament of Champions in consecutive years.

Learn more about Wake Forest Law’s “quadfecta” of recent wins at wfu.law/quadfecta

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About Wake Forest University School of Law:

Wake Forest School of Law has committed to keeping legal education small and personable for over 35 years. Established in 1894, the law school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. Wake Forest law school is ranked No. 32 in the nation and offers several degrees, which include the Juris Doctor (JD) with dual and concurrent degree options, an online Master of Studies in Law (MSL), a Master of Laws (LL.M.), and the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD). Learn more about Wake Forest School of Law at www.law.wfu.edu