Regional Competition Winners Take Home National Championship

By Martin & Jones on April 19, 2017

Martin & Jones was proud to be one of the sponsors of the regional 2017 American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC) held in Raleigh the weekend of March 10-12. The winner of the regional competition went on to become the national champions. Congratulations to the Wake Forest University School of Law team!

Law students Ethan White, Drew Culler, Mia Falzarano and Cheslie Kryst competed regionally against students from Campbell University, Charleston School of Law, College of William and Mary, Elon University, Liberty University, North Carolina Central University, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina and University of South Carolina. For the third year in a row, Wake Forest University law students won the regional competition going on to compete nationally the weekend of March 30-April 2 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Fourteen regions each have sixteen teams. The winners of each region go on to face each other in the national STAC. Wake Forest University competed against students from Harvard University, Chicago-Kent College of Law, The University of Missouri, Baylor University, Belmont University, Stetson University, Fordham University, Syracuse University, University of Akron, Loyola Marymount University, University of California, Tulane University and The University of Maryland.

The AAJ “seeks to inspire excellence in trial advocacy through training and education for both law students and practicing attorneys.” Sponsoring the competition helps accomplish this goal by providing law students the opportunity to build and practice trial skills. In addition to the experience and championship title, each student is awarded a $2,000 Stanley Preiser Law Student Award for Trial Advocacy presented by the Melvin M. Belli Society.

Martin & Jones was co-sponsors of the regional STAC along with the law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP. Martin & Jones attorney Karl Amelchenko has been involved with the competition for years.

“It takes a great deal of work from so many people to put on this competition, but as a former competitor, I know first-hand how important these types of events are to students’ development as trial lawyers.” Karl explained. “In a climate where access to the courts is constantly being diminished by our legislators, it’s imperative that we who believe in the civil justice system continue to do all we can to promote the vital skills of trial advocacy.”

The “case” involved an injured Pokemon Go player.  Read more about the competition in this Winston-Salem Journal article.