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Law School Team Wins Trial Competition

Law School team takes first place in regional finals of national competition

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February 17, 2011 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso
Northwestern Law Bartlit Center Trial Team, Midwest Regional Winners — National Trial Team Competition (left to right) Coach Richard Levin, Karim Basaria, Clare Diegel, Coach Adam Riback.

CHICAGO --- A Northwestern University School of Law team won first place in the Midwest Regional Finals of the National Trial Competition.

The Northwestern University Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy team reached the final round by defeating teams from Indiana University, the University of Illinois and Loyola University Chicago. They defeated a team from Chicago-Kent College of Law in the final round in one of the oldest and most prestigious mock trial competitions in the United States. The Midwest Regional Finals were held this past weekend at Valparaiso University in Indiana.

“Our students and coaches put a tremendous amount of effort into the competition, and we are all extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said Steven Lubet, the Williams Memorial Professor of Law and director of the Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy.

The winning mock trial team included Northwestern Law students Clare Diegel and Karim Basaria. A second Northwestern team included Laura Babinski, Matthew Salerno and Sara Whitaker, who were undefeated in the preliminary rounds, before losing in the semifinals by a single point.

Basaria and Diegel will go on to compete for the National Trial Championship in Houston April 6 to 10. Each region sends two teams to the national finals in Texas. The other winning team in the Midwest region is from Chicago-Kent.

The Northwestern team was coached by Richard Levin, Adam Riback, Ian Williams and Karen O’Malley, all of the Levin Riback Law Group.

This is Northwestern’s sixth tournament championship in the last six years. Bartlit Center Trial teams have won the National Trial Competition three times, most recently in 2002, placing first and second in the competition.

Each law school is permitted to send two teams to the competition. Each trial involves opening and closing statements as well as direct and cross examinations of each of the four witnesses. (Each side has two witnesses). The competition problem alternates between civil and criminal.