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TOC2013In 1989, Professor Charles E. "Chuck" Kirkwood of the University of Akron School of Law hosted the first Tournament of Champions Trial Competition. He invited the best trial advocacy law schools in the nation. Invitations were based on performance over the years in two "open" student trial competitions: the National Trial Competition and the ATLA National Student Trial Advocacy Competition. The tournament was informal and fun, with a focus on outstanding trial advocacy skills. In 1995, NITA recognized the outstanding quality of this tournament and chose to sponsor the Tournament of Champions. In 2005, LexisNexis® became a co-sponsor.

Today, the tournament is one of the premier law school trial competitions in the nation and is known for having the highest quality of congeniality and good sportsmanship. Each year, sixteen schools are invited. The invitations are based on a three-year performance record at the National Trial Competition and the ATLA National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, and performances at prior Tournament of Champions competition.

2013 Tournament of Champions Results
  • Champion: Washington University School of Law (St. Louis)
  • 2nd Place: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Semifinalist: Duquesne University School of Law
  • Semifinalist: Stetson University College of Law
Best Advocate, Preliminary Rounds:
  • Eric Bell of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Best Advocate, Final Rounds:
  • Eric Bell of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
2014 Tournament of Champions Participating Law Schools:
  • Campbell University School of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Samford University, Cumberland School of Law
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Syracuse University College of Law
  • Temple University, Beasley School of Law
  • University of Akron School of Law
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
  • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Washington University School of Law
  • Yale Law School
Awards

Champions received the traveling James Seckinger Trophy, a team plaque, individual plaques, and a copy of NITA's book, Trial Technique & Evidence by Michael R. Fontham. Runner-Up and Semifinalists each received a team plaque. The best advocates received scholarships to a NITA Deposition Program. All advocates received a collection of NITA books and certificates.

Previous Winners of the James H. Seckinger Trophy
2012 Baylor Law School
2011 Samford University, Cumberland School of Law
2010 Chicago-Kent College of Law
2009 St. John's University School of Law
2008 Duquesne University School of Law

 

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