From left: Kyle DeCamp, Corey Wilson, J.D. Rees III, Trial Advocacy Director Justin Bernstein, Aidan Welsh and Kian Khajooei.
The UCLA Law Mock Trial Team started its season with a victory. A team of four students traveled to Sacramento for the inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Competition, hosted by UC Davis School of Law, returning with a first-place trophy.
Kyle DeCamp '19, Kian Khajooei '20, Aidan Welch '19, and Corey Wilson '20 formed the team, which was coached by Justin Bernstein, the new director of UCLA Law's A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy, and alum J.D. Rees III '14, an associate at Sheppard Mullin.
"This is a great win for the Cappello Program and a great way to start our season," said Bernstein. "Our students were extremely prepared, and it showed."
The fact pattern in the competition involved a plaintiff who alleged that police used excessive force in shooting and killing a civilian who was experiencing a medical emergency. The police department argued that the shooting was justified because the plaintiff was charging one of the officers with a knife. The UCLA team won both of its trials while representing the plaintiff and all three of its trials while representing the defense.
"We have two more teams competing next month in the ABA Labor Competition," said Bernstein. "This group set the bar high."
The A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy provides simulation and experiential opportunities for students to develop courtroom skills.