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Trial Team Sweeps ABA Regional, Proceeds To National

Published: February 25th, 2002

Category: News

UF Students Make History

The UF Trial Team defeated Stetson and Florida State to take the two “first place” spots and win the championship at the American Bar Association Regional Competition Feb. 14-16 in Miami. This was the second of the team’s three spring competitions, and it has taken first place at both. In January, team members won The Florida Bar Chester Bedell Memorial Competition for the second year in a row. “We made unprecedented history by placing both teams in the national competition,” said Trial Team President Michael Pike. “Sixteen law schools from four states — South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida — participate in the ABA regional competition. Historically, the two teams chosen for first place are from different schools. This time, both UF teams swept the competition and took top honors.” Local attorney Rob Rush coached the team. Advocates were Jose Izquierdo, Nick Zissimopulos, Kimberly Madison and Millicent Daniels. Sarah Baggett, Damon Colangelo, Trisha Smith and Juan Perez were witnesses. The eight will go on to compete in Dallas, Texas, in April for the national title. “The dual victory was especially sweet given that the teams played both Plaintiff and Defense roles — the teams never knew which side they would be representing until moments before the trial began. They announced the semifinalists after three trials, and we were ecstatic when we found out both UF teams made it,” said Zissimopulos. Stetson University was the only other school with two teams in the semifinals, but only one Stetson team remained for the final round. “Our team’s greatest strength is versatility,” said advocate Izquierdo. “When the other teams threw us curve balls, we went off script and handled the situation with grace.” Trial Team members compete each spring in The Florida Bar, ABA and ATLA (in March) competitions, and each fall in Georgetown, Michigan. They are assisted by Associate Dean for Students Gail Sasnett, Assistant Dean Pat Shannon, and Professor Kenn Nunn.

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