The FIU Trial Team advanced to the FINAL FOUR of the 2017 Student Trial Advocacy Competition sponsored by the American Association for Justice.

Sixteen teams in 14 regions across the country participated in AAJ regionals this past weekend, trying a complex negligent security case, with FIU and nine other schools – including Stetson, UF, FSU, Barry, Florida Coastal, Nova, St. Thomas, and out-of-state entrants Georgia State and Savannah Law — assigned to the southeast region and our magnificent, new Miami-Dade Children’s Courthouse and Juvenile Justice Center.

FIU’s final four team — ELROY JOHN, ANABEL MIGUELEZ, ZACK YANEZ, and RAY YTULVIDE — made their way through three preliminary rounds all the way to the quarterfinals, before falling in a close-fought match to ultimate tournament champion Stetson.

Also competing valiantly were JOSEFINE BLICK, RACHEL DOLLY, DIANA RAFAEL, and ZACHARY UDELL, who equally demonstrated FIU’s no-one-outworks-us spirit and special brand of passionate, principled advocacy.

These hardworking students put in 9 weeks of intense training — nights, weekends — hundreds of hours preparing for trial. Each of them made us proud, representing one another, the College of Law, and our consistent commitment to excellence.

“Our students continue to excel in prestigious trial team competitions at the state, regional, and national level,” said Professor H.T. Smith, Founding Director of the Trial Advocacy Program. “They bring pride to themselves, their coaches, and FIU Law.”

The AAJ 2017 team was coached by COL and Trial Team alumni David Baroff (’08) and Igor Hernandez (’13), along with Professor Smith.

Pictured, left to right: Coach Igor Hernandez, Trial Team members Zack Yanez, Anabel Miguelez, Ray Ytulvide, and Elroy John, and Coach David Baroff.