IIT Chicago-Kent to compete in the 2010 National Pretrial Advocacy Competition

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicago-Kent College of Law has been invited to compete in the third annual National Pretrial Advocacy Competition October 8 and 9 at Stetson University College of Law's Gulfport campus in Florida. The competition, which is designed to capture the essence of the pretrial motion practice, is co-sponsored by Stetson's Center for Excellence in Advocacy and the Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar.

 2L students Marcell Taylor, Jessica Velez, Lindsay Gephardt and Jack Bentley.
Chicago-Kent's 2010 National Pretrial Advocacy Competition team, from left: 2L students Marcell Taylor, Jessica Velez, Lindsay Gephardt and Jack Bentley.

Twelve competing law school teams will receive a legal problem containing two issues that require pretrial solutions. The teams will write two briefs—one for the respondent and one for the petitioner. After submitting their briefs, teams will receive supplemental information that may alter or negate the arguments they submitted. At the competition, teams will present oral arguments, examine witnesses, and ultimately attempt to synthesize law and new facts in a final argument. Two preliminary rounds will be held October 8; seminal and final rounds will take place October 9. Awards for the top four teams, the top four oralists and the best team brief will be presented at a banquet at the end of the tournament.

Second-year students Jack Bentley, Lindsay Gephardt, Marcell Taylor and Jessica Velez will represent Chicago-Kent in the tournament. The team will be coached by Chicago-Kent alumnae Keya Rajput-Milla '07, Rachel Moran '08, and Theresa Williams '09. (Rajput-Milla was a member of the National Trial Competition's 2007 championship team and winner of that tournament's Best Advocate award. Moran is a member of Chicago-Kent teams that won the National Moot Court Competition and National Ethics Trial Competition in 2008. She won Best Oral Advocate awards in both tournaments.)

Jack Bentley earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Illinois Wesleyan University. Teammate Lindsay Gephardt graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a major in justice studies and a minor in sociology. Teammate Marcell Taylor earned his undergraduate degree from DePaul University with a major in political science and a minor in professional writing. Jessica Velez is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in political science and rhetoric.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. Chicago-Kent's trial advocacy teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions, including the 1988, 2007 and 2008 National Trial Competition championships. In 2008, Chicago-Kent became the first law school to win both the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year. In 2009, Chicago-Kent successfully defended its championship in the National Moot Court Competition.