Students and coach standing socially distanced in Klein Hall all giving thumbs up.
(From L to R: 2L Rachel Dansky, 3L Andrew Marth, Marissa Boyers Bluestine LAW ‘95, 2L Terence Jones, and 3L Tatiana Cook)

The Temple Law Trial team won the National Civil Trial Competition, hosted by Loyola Los Angeles and sponsored by the law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. The team of 3L Andrew Marth, 3L Tatiana Cook, 2L Rachel Dansky, and 2L Terence Jones triumphed out of 16 teams from the nation’s top law schools, with Marth named “Best Advocate” for the final round.

How did this win come about? Director of Advocacy Programs, Jules Epstein praised the efforts of all of those involved, and explained, “With coaching from a great lawyer who herself was a Temple Trial Team star; with students who worked days, nights, and weekends; with assists from the Advocacy faculty on issues as far-ranging as ZOOM lawyering, the nuances of Evidence law, and last-minute suggestions to hone arguments and approaches; and with the skills that a Temple advocacy education brings.”

The National Civil Trial Competition provides student advocates an opportunity to develop and display the skills of a successful civil litigator. Students perform opening statements, direct- and cross-examination of expert and lay witnesses, and closing arguments, as well as argue objections based on the Federal Rules of Evidence. This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams competed virtually.

“During a global pandemic, it is so easy to take the easy way out and quit, but our team showed the rest of the country what resilience looks like. The long hours and the Zoom lags were all worth it,” said Tatiana Cook. “It was an honor to try a case in what could be the future of our legal profession. I can’t say enough great things about this team, the reason we worked so well together was because we trusted each other to advocate in the ways we know best. I cannot wait to see what my partner, Andrew Marth, does in the trial world (hopefully I will never have to be against him!). He is truly such a remarkable advocate. I am so proud of Rachel Dansky, as a 2L this competition is difficult and poses many challenges, but Rachel’s natural trial inclinations are better than most who have been doing this forever. Terence was also such a great addition to the team and I delighted that he was able to join us because his insight helped deliver this team to the championship. Overall, I couldn’t be prouder of this team for not just working with me but letting me learn from them. I think we embodied the word ‘teamwork’ and I hope we can continue to bring the wins for Temple next semester!”

Rachel Dansky had nothing but praise for her coaches and teammates. “I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of this team,” she said. “Working with the most dedicated coaches and teammates has been like taking a masterclass in advocacy. Tatiana, Andrew, and Terence have immeasurable presence and talent, and I found myself blown away by each of them on a daily basis. We were lucky to have the most amazing coaches who helped me become a more confident and knowledgeable advocate. This entire competition season was extremely rewarding, and I am grateful that I got to experience it with this team.”

“I am grateful for the chance to work with four tremendously talented and dedicated students,” said their coach, Marissa Boyers Bluestine LAW ‘95. “Temple’s emphasis when preparing students for competitions has always been on professionalism and ethical practice. These four advocates clearly demonstrated those ideals throughout their preparation, their teamwork, and their advocacy. They are an extraordinary group and well-deserving of national recognition.”