First-Year Students Take Top Honors at Annual AAJ Mock Trial Competition

San Diego (March 31, 2014) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law first-year students Keith Van Wagner, Caitlin Ryan, Caitlin Macker and Alan Khlevnoy won the top award at the annual American Association for Justice (AAJ) Mock Trail Competition on March 30, 2014, in San Diego. First-year students Ken Brown, Cameron Cain, Brody Burns and Jason Avelar, took second place.

Each year, 64 first- and second-year law students from USD School of Law compete in the annual AAJ Intramural Mock Trial Competition. Held at the San Diego Superior Court and University of San Diego School of Law, students competed in four rounds of trial. This year’s case was State of Lone Star v. John Quincy Drath, a murder case requiring students to examine expert witnesses for an insanity defense.

The annual competition allows students to learn and explore the art of trial advocacy and to compete for an invitation to join USD’s award-winning National Mock Trial Team. This year, 30 competitors were invited to join the trial team.

“The hard work and skills demonstrated by the first- and second-year students in the courtroom was remarkable,” said Head Coach Frankie DiGiacco. “Trying a case before judges and lawyers from the community is no easy task, and everyone performed at an incredibly high level. We are very excited to see a number of the competitors join our team and compete nationally on behalf of USD Law.”

2014 Intramural Mock Trial Results

First Place

  • Keith Van Wagner
  • Caitlin Ryan
  • Caitlin Macker
  • Alan Khlevnoy

Second Place

  • Ken Brown
  • Cameron Cain
  • Brody Burns
  • Jason Avelar

Third Place

  • Danica Drotman
  • Justin Clark
  • Luba Bartnitskaia
  • Sharon Choi

Fourth Place

  • Keisha Mello-Hall
  • Natalia Nyczak
  • Zach Damian
  • Jenna Campbell

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Celebrating 60 years of alumni success, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Patrick Riedling
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