November 20th 2012,  Washington, D.C. FIU TRIAL TEAM — composed of students JOE GLACE (3L), NISHA MOHAMMED (3L), MARC SCHMULIAN (4L), and JULIAN STROLENY (4L) — was crowned CHAMPION of the 16th Annual NATIONAL WHITE COLLAR CRIME MOCK TRIAL INVITATIONAL, sponsored by Georgetown Law and the Georgetown University Law Center Barristers’ Council.

From 20 of the top trial advocacy programs across the country — including American, Barry, Catholic, Creighton, Florida Coastal, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, Howard, Houston, Loyola University Chicago, Santa Clara, SMU Dedman, South Texas, Tulane, South Carolina, University of Virginia, and William & Mary — our Trial Team took the Capitol by storm, WINNING ALL 5 ROUNDS in 2 1/2 days of grueling competition.

This year’s tournament featured allegations of straw contributions, illegal money orders, a mayoral campaign, and the candidate’s alleged honest services fraud in accepting a bribe to change her position to favor a casino referendum on the same ballot.

Beginning Friday night and all day Saturday at the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse (home to the D.C. Superior Court), FIU defeated Houston, Fordham, and Barry in the preliminary rounds and entered the semifinals UNDEFEATED and the second-ranked squad.

On Sunday morning in the semis at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States District Courthouse, FIU kept the winning streak alive, defeating Houston once more.

And then, Sunday afternoon, in the championship round, FIU took down William & Mary to bring the first place trophy home (look for it soon in the Trial Advocacy Program display case outside of the small courtroom!).

This was FIU’s first appearance — and very first invitation — to this prestigious tournament; truly an amazing feat by all standards.

“Without question, our students fought like champions. But more importantly, they advocated with passion and principle — our Program hallmarks — and demonstrated to themselves, and to the nation, the deep sense of restorative justice and personal empowerment, on behalf of client and cause, that is FIU’s very special brand, as we continue to cultivate the next generation of great legal storytellers,” said PROFESSOR H.T. SMITH, Director of the Trial Advocacy Program.

Our Georgetown White Collar Trial Team was coached by FIU Law and Trial Team alumnus ANTHONY HEVIA (Class of ’07, a former Miami-Dade prosecutor, and now an associate at Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A.), MATTHEW BALDWIN (also a former Miami-Dade prosecutor and now an associate with Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin), and PROFESSOR H. SCOTT FINGERHUT, Assistant Director of the Trial Advocacy Program.