IIT Chicago-Kent reaches the National Trial Competition's "Final Four"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Damien Clark and Charles Prochaska, third-year students at Chicago-Kent College of Law, finished among the top four teams in the country in the National Trial Competition held March 24 to 28 in Dallas, Tex.

Chicago-Kent students Charles Prochaska '10 (left) and Damien Clark '10, semifinalists in the 2010 National Trial Competition's championship tournament held in Dallas
Chicago-Kent students Charles Prochaska '10 (left) and Damien Clark '10, semifinalists in the 2010 National Trial Competition's championship tournament held in Dallas

The competition, cosponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Association and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is the nation's premier trial advocacy tournament. More than 300 teams from 156 law schools competed in 14 regional rounds, with the top 28 teams advancing to the national finals. Clark and Prochaska represented Region 8 as champions after defeating teams from Valparaiso University, Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago in the regional competition held in February in Indianapolis.

In the national competition, Chicago-Kent defeated teams from Regent University, the University of San Diego and the University of Kentucky before losing a close semifinal round against the eventual national champion, Stetson University, by a 4-3 score. The students argued a hypothetical medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the widow of a judge against his doctor for failing to warn of the harmful interaction of certain medications.

Third-year student Damien Clark earned his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Teammate Prochaska is a third-year student who received his undergraduate degree in political science with a minor in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Chicago-Kent team is coached by retired Illinois Appellate Court Justice David A. Erickson; Rachel Moran '08, of the Office of the State Appellate Defender; attorney David M. Lavin of the Chicago law firm of Field and Goldberg; and attorney James McKay '84 of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

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. U.S. News & World Report last year ranked Chicago-Kent's trial advocacy program among the top five in the country. This is the fourth consecutive year and the 23rd time in the past 29 years that a team from Chicago-Kent has won the National Trial Competition's regional championship. In 1988, 2007 and 2008 Chicago-Kent won National Trial Competition championships.

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