IIT Chicago-Kent advances to the 2012 AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition's national finals

Monday, March 5, 2012

The IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law team of Daniel Crone '12, Marcell Taylor '12, Jessica Velez '12, and Carlos Vera '12 has advanced to the national finals of the American Association for Justice's (AAJ) 2012 Student Trial Advocacy Competition by winning the regional tournament, held March 1 to 4 in St. Louis.

From left, third-year IIT Chicago-Kent students Carlos Vera, Daniel Crone, Jessica Velez and Marcell Taylor won the AAJ 2012 Student Trial Advocacy Competition's regional tournament and will compete in the national finals in Las Vegas March 22–25.
From left, third-year IIT Chicago-Kent students Carlos Vera, Daniel Crone, Jessica Velez and Marcell Taylor won the AAJ 2012 Student Trial Advocacy Competition's regional tournament and will compete in the national finals in Las Vegas March 22–25.

IIT Chicago-Kent competed against teams from 12 law schools from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri in the regional tournament. IIT Chicago-Kent will now compete against first-place teams from 13 other regional tournaments in the national finals March 22 to 25 in Las Vegas. Each member of the winning team in the national competition will receive a scholarship from the Melvin M. Belli Society and registration for the AAJ 2012 Annual Convention in Chicago, July 28 to August 1.

IIT Chicago-Kent successfully argued a negligence case involving a hockey player who filed suit against a hockey club and its trainer for injuries sustained during a game. IIT Chicago-Kent defeated teams from the University of Colorado, University of Missouri, and Northern Illinois University in the preliminary rounds, emerging as the third seed in the semi-finals. IIT Chicago-Kent defeated Washington University in St. Louis in the semi-finals, and received a unanimous 3-0 score (including one perfect score) from the judges to win the regional championship against another University of Colorado team in the final round. The team was coached by IIT Chicago-Kent alumni Damien Clark '10, Liza Laughlin '08, Charles Prochaska '10 and Rachael Sinnen '11.

Winning team member Daniel Crone earned an undergraduate degree in criminology/sociology and psychology from the Ohio State University. Teammate Marcell Taylor earned his undergraduate degree from DePaul University with a major in political science and a minor in professional writing. Teammate Jessica Velez is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in political science and rhetoric. Teammate Carlos Vera graduated from Whittier College with a double major in philosophy and religious studies.

The American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) is a broad-based, international coalition of attorneys, law professors, paralegals and law students.

IIT 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. IIT 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, IIT Chicago-Kent became the first law school to win both the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year.

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