The Catholic University of America


(From L to R: Justin Ewaniszyk, Adrianna Oddo, Kevin Tamul, and Robbie Cain)

CUA Law National Trial Team Closes Academic Year with Competition in Puerto Rico

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The law school’s National Trial Team had their final competition of the academic year last weekend in Puerto Rico, from April 14–15. The competition was rescheduled from the fall when Hurricane Maria devastated the island. As a result, organizers affectionately dubbed the case file the “Hurricane Busters” edition. 3Ls Robbie Cain, Kevin Tamul, Justin Ewaniszyk, and Adrianna Oddo represented the Law School as they competed in the federal courthouse in beautiful Old San Juan.

The competition problem was a criminal case, with Cain and Tamul representing the prosecution and Ewaniszyk and Oddo representing the defense. The prosecution competed first and drew the University of Alabama. CUA lost in a close trial, as the judge and jury reached a split decision. Alabama ultimately finished second in the entire competition.

The team quickly bounced back. The defense side went up again a strong team from Temple, and won. Ewaniszyk and Oddo dominated on all three ballots, winning handily. The team’s overall scores just missed the top four cut off, and therefore it did not advance. The winner of the competition was the University of Florida.

The CUA advocates’ individual performances received accolades for their excellence and professionalism. Cain and Tamul were each honored for receiving a perfect score on a ballot during any one part of the trial. Cain, for her direct examination of a police chief that led a murder investigation, and Tamul, for his cross-examination of an insubordinate police officer. Further, Tamul’s cross-examination scored so high that out of 48 student advocates competing, he was a top three finalist for best cross-examination. One juror’s ballot commented that Tamul’s cross was “One of the best I’ve seen.”

“The students competed well and several of the individual performances were absolutely outstanding,” said Associate Director Lindsey Cloud Mervis. Added Director John Sharifi, “These trial team advocates are graduating with the ability to skillfully try a case and serve their clients well. We’re all very proud of that.”

The National Trial Team will begin their annual training camp this summer as new and returning advocates gear up for the 2018-2019 competition schedule.