A team consisting of 3Ls Farai Vyamucharo-Shawa and Matthew Capacete and 2Ls Abigail Cocco and Freddie Moore advanced to the “Sweet 16” in the 2020 National All Star Bracket Challenge trial advocacy competition. The team, one of four to advance from the Eastern regional, was among the top sixteen from an original field of 64.
“Preparing for and competing in this competition was absolutely the highlight of my 2L fall,” said Abby Cocco. “The feedback from my coaches and teammates was invaluable and helped me build my skills and confidence going into the competition. This confidence not only made me a stronger competitor, but also gave me room to have fun.”
Farai Vyamucharo-Shawa received the “best advocate” award for the Eastern regional bracket.
In Drexel’s 2020 Battle of the Experts, a mock trial competition that showcases the critical role of expert witnesses in litigation, 3Ls Carly Gubernick and Dan Craig and 2Ls Allan Carlsen and Taylor Maurer were finalists. Temple was the only team among 16 schools to be undefeated in every round until the final; with the final round going to the team from UCLA.
“Learning to grapple with the law of expert testimony is a tough task; and then adding that to crafting artful expert witness directs and crosses is a monumental one, one many practitioners can’t handle,” said Director of Advocacy Programs, Professor Jules Epstein. “Temple’s Battle of the Experts team did both – with tireless work, real smarts, and consummate skill and professionalism. And every day one of them would text or email with the words “I read the file again and found…” The dedication was exceptional; and the advocacy first class.”
3L Dan Craig expressed admiration for his teammates. “Allan and Taylor showed poise and talent beyond their years during this competition. Their growth this semester was inspiring and reaching the final round in their first competition says all anyone needs to know about their abilities and their future on trial team and as future lawyers,” said Craig. “As Carly’s trial team partner for the past three semesters, I could talk endlessly about her abilities, but ultimately I want to stress how unsurprised I was to watch her excel and win all three rounds she competed in during this competition. She’s simply an incredible advocate and a great teammate. And that was on clear display all weekend.”
For 2Ls Taylor Maurer and Allan Carlsen the competitions and their participation on Trial Team have been some of the more rewarding experiences in their law school careers.
“I am so grateful for the relationships I built with my fellow competitors, as well as the insane amount of support I received from the rest of Trial Team during our competition weekend,” said Maurer. “Our coaches made sure we were prepared so far in advance of our tournament, that when game time rolled around, I felt nothing but excitement and determination. I was so sad once our competition was over, but I look forward to cheering on the other Trial Team members in their remaining tournaments this fall. GO OWLS!”
“I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to serve on a team with 3 incredible coaches and 3 fellow students who are some of the most hardworking, brilliant, and engaging individuals I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with,” said Carlson. “Everyone played a vital role in our success. I am beyond happy with our finish as tournament finalists, but more importantly I am grateful for the laughs, fun, and friendships I experienced along the way.”
Both teams praise the support and effort of their coaches, “I’m so grateful for the coaches who dedicated so much of their time to help me become a better advocate, and I’m excited to continue to improve,” said 2L Abby Cocco, with Dan Craig and Freddie More echoing praise.
“Professor Epstein, Chris, and Courtney were incredible coaches in both their wisdom and experience, but more than that they were caring and supportive during a grueling semester. They taught us how to be real litigators outside of a competition and in a real courtroom. Their advice will stick with me well beyond my time on trial team,” said Craig.
“From the beginning of the semester to now, I’ve seen a tangible difference in my own trial advocacy skills, as well as those of my teammates and I believe that’s wholly due to the attention given to us by our two amazing coaches, Professor Marian Braccia and Justin Oshana,” said Moore. “I really can’t thank them enough for their part in making this a great start to my time here on trial team.”