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Creighton Team Wins National Championship at Mock Trial Tournament

The Creighton University Criminal Mock Trial team won first place in the Buffalo-Niagara Criminal Mock Trial Competition Nov. 11-14 at the University at Buffalo Law School. Creighton’s team, represented by four women, won all seven of their trials.

"Being a part of the trial team was a wonderful and challenging experience, but for me, the best part of the experience was working with three talented, intelligent and driven ladies. That's what made us so successful," said Julie Roberts of Arvada, Colo., one of the team members.

Her teammate Jacquie Clement of Bartlesville, Okla., agreed. "It seemed like our team had the most fun at the competition, not just because we won, but because we respected each other and saw each other, not as classmates, but as friends," she said. "Though there were a lot of long hours involved, the team was made up great personalities and hard workers."

The Buffalo-Niagara Competition is a national invitational tournament, with 32 teams, 16 each in civil and criminal divisions.

In addition to Roberts and Clement, the winning team members included third-year law students Kayla Coleman of Omaha and Bonnie Moore of Papillion, Neb. Clement and Roberts were each named Best Advocate in the each of the final trials.

This is the second time that Creighton Law has won the Buffalo-Niagara Tournament. The first win was in 2005.

Normally, in each round of this tournament, a school’s team is assigned either to prosecute or defend. Then two members of the team act as lawyers and the other two as witnesses for that round. This year, however, the final round assignment was to split the team and do two trials, so two of Creighton’s crew were prosecutors in one trial while the other two handled the defense in a second trial, meaning the team had to prepare all new witnesses —supplied by the organizers of the competition — in one hour.

"When the competition came to an end and as we boarded the plane for Omaha, I reflected on how much we learned and what we endured to reach the final round of the competition," Moore said. "Not only did we mature as law students, but we learned many practical lawyering skills that we will undoubtedly use in the courtroom someday."

"Participating in trial team was probably the best thing that I did in law school," added Coleman. "It takes a theory-based legal education and applies it in a very practical way. I will never forget the people on my trial team or the incredible times that we had."