Chicago-Kent wins Midwest regional championship of the 2017 National Trial Competition
The Chicago-Kent trial advocacy team of Jon Emmanuel '18 and Tyler Mikan '17 won the 2017 National Trial Competition's Midwest regional tournament, held January 26 to 28 in Valparaiso, Indiana. This is the 25th time in the last 35 years that a team from Chicago-Kent has won the regional championship.
Students in this year's competition argued a hypothetical criminal case that hinged on whether a defendant had the cognitive ability to form criminal intent when he delivered a kilo of heroin during an undercover operation. To win the title, Emmanuel and Mikan prevailed against two teams from Valparaiso and a team from DePaul before defeating a team from Northwestern 3-0 in the final round. Emmanuel and Mikan will compete for the national championship March 22 to 26 in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Second-year student Jon Emmanuel earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and exercise science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Third-year student Tyler Mikan graduated magna cum laude from Drake University with dual degrees in rhetoric and in law, politics and society.
The team was coached by Judge David Erickson, director of Chicago-Kent's Trial Advocacy Program; attorney David Lavin; and alumna Ana Montelongo '16, associate director of the Trial Advocacy Program. A second Chicago-Kent team—Warren Fasone '18 and Bryce Hensley '17—went undefeated in the first two rounds against teams from Valparaiso and Notre Dame before falling in a very close match against a team from Loyola. In addition, trial team members Alexis Halsell ’18 and Shahina Khan ’18 served as witnesses for both teams during the competition.
The National Trial Competition, established in 1975 by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the United States. Chicago-Kent won the national finals in 1988, 2007, 2008 and 2015.
Chicago-Kent's trial advocacy teams have won numerous individual student honors and regional and national competitions. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, Chicago-Kent's Trial Advocacy Program is ranked third in the country.