National Trial Advocacy Champions Honored

Author: Charles Williams

2013_belli_370_web Notre Dame Law School’s American Association of Justice (AAJ) 2013 National Champion Moot Court Trial Team was honored by the Melvin M. Belli Society at a reception and dinner in San Francisco this summer.

The 2013 AAJ Student Advocacy Trial Competition (STAC) began with over 230 teams vying for the national championship. Notre Dame Law School’s national championship team was comprised of students Michelle Pope, Shelia Prendergast, Brian Salvi, and Kristian Weir, and was coached by Assistant Adjunct Professors Joel Williams and Katherine Singer. The team tried its case a total of 11 times during the regional and national competitions, never losing a trial, and maintaining the number one seed throughout both the regional and national competitions.

The Belli Society was founded by Melvin M. Belli, a founder and past president of the American Trial Lawyers Association (now the American Association of Justice). The Belli Society’s stated purpose is to promote the international exchange of ideas among lawyers through meetings and education. It sponsors the American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition each year.

2013_belli_245_web At the Belli Society dinner, coach Williams spoke to a crowd of more than 100 of the nation’s top litigation attorneys about how the NDLS team’s preparation, performance, and perseverance enabled them to win the national championship. Thereafter, each of the winning team members received a $2,000 Stanley Priser Law Student Award for Trial Advocacy.

As a result of winning the National Championship, Notre Dame Law School received and accepted an invitation to compete at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions in Birmingham, Alabama, in late October 2013.

Top photo: Students Kristian CS Weir, Michelle Pope, coach Joel Williams, students Shelia Prendergast, Brian Salvi (not pictured coach Katherine Singer).

Bottom photo: Coach Joel Williams, students Kristian CS Weir, Michelle Pope, AAJ President Mary Alice McLarty, students Shelia Prendergast, Brian Salvi (not pictured coach Katherine Singer).