Broun National Trial Team Ranks Among Top Four Competing Teams at Invitational Mock Trial Tournament

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BNTT Members
The Broun National Trial Team, from left, Coach Tanisha Edwards 3L, Anthony Ferrara 2L, Katie Wheeler 2L, Chelsea Barnes 2L, Graham Morgan 2L and Coach Taylor Glenn 3L.

Katie Wheeler 2L came away from the Carolinas Invitational Mock Trial Tournament with a piece of wisdom reinforced: in courtroom trials, expect the unexpected.

She and fellow 2L Broun National Trial Team members handled their trial — and its curveballs — with the flexibility and finesse to finish as semi-finalists, ranking among the top four teams that competed.

“Trials are unpredictable,” Wheeler says. “You can never be sure what opposing counsel will do or how a judge is going to rule on an issue. It required a lot of thinking on our feet.”

Wheeler’s teammates were Chelsea Barnes 2L, Anthony Ferrara 2L and Graham Morgan 2L, coached by 3L students Tanisha Edwards and Taylor Glenn. The competition was based on a murder case involving alleged gang and drug activity.

“I learned the importance of preparation and adaptation,” Wheeler says. “We prepared a lot for this competition, and our thorough preparation allowed us to adapt to unexpected occurrences. After experiencing the importance of these concepts firsthand, I will strive to incorporate them into my career.”

During practices, the team developed case theories, ran full mock trials and rehearsed evidentiary procedures.

For Wheeler, who wants to try cases in her career, the tournament at Charlotte School of Law was invaluable. “Gaining experience in a relatively low-stakes environment was a great way to become comfortable with the courtroom atmosphere prior to representing real clients,” she says.

M. Burke
Matthew Burke 3L

Different Broun National Trial Team members competed in other tournaments this fall, such as the Judge Paul Joseph Kelly Jr. Invitational Trial Competition at Fordham University School of Law in New York and the Lone Star Classic Invitational at St. Mary’s School of Law in Texas, but didn’t advance after the preliminary rounds.

“These competitions are crucial to development of skills in oral advocacy, case theory construction, and creative problem-solving that will directly serve Broun competitors in their careers in law, whether they are representing clients in a courtroom or a similar proceeding,” Broun National Trial Team president Matt Burke 3L says.

-November 23, 2016

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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