Held January 22-24 and sponsored by the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar, the Bedell tournament is the premier mock trial competition in the state, and this year included 16 teams from eight law schools, including Barry, FAMU, Florida Coastal, FSU, Stetson, St. Thomas, and UF.
FIU won Bedell in 2016.
Led by swing advocates SARAH MORGADO and MARKO NIKITOVIC, along with double-witnesses DREW NEWMAN and NICHOLAS REID, FIU dominated the preliminary rounds, going undefeated in both of their trials and winning every judge’s vote.
Power-ranked second going into the quarters, FIU was then bested in a close match by St. Thomas.
FIU’s second team performed courageously as well, taking on Stetson and ultimate tournament runner-up Barry. Students SARAH LAM, CHANDLER LEFEVERE, CHRISTINA RAMSEY, CARLOS SALAZAR, and AUDREY FRANKLIN all trained hard and fought valiantly, equally enhancing the FIU Law brand.
The hundreds of hours of trial preparation for Bedell began right after exams concluded in December, continuing each day through winter break, and on into the spring semester – weekdays, weeknights after classes let out, and weekends, from sun-up until long after dark.
“I am proud of this special group of students,” said Professor H. Scott Fingerhut, Bedell coach and Assistant Director of the Trial Advocacy Program. “They understood the commitment to excellence that was required, under difficult circumstances took care of one another, and in battle demonstrated the passion and principle Professor H.T. Smith, our Trial Ad Program Director, insists that FIU instills in cultivating the great trial lawyers of tomorrow.”
Coaching alongside Professor Fingerhut were FIU Law and Trial Team alumni Ari Goldberg, an Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy, lead coach and Miami-Dade Assistant Public Defender Justin Duran, fellow Miami-Dade Assistant Public Defenders Elsa Fernandez and Yanelis Zamora, and Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Jackson Shuford.
For more information about the FIU Trial Team and Trial Advocacy Program, visit our website or call 305-348-8095.