Trial Team Heads to Nationals

March 3, 2020
Chandler Matz, Justin Bernstein, Kian Khajooei, Avery Hitchcock and Rahul Hari. Mikayla Wasiri , Delaney Gold-Diamond and Brittnee Bui.
Top row: Chandler Matz, Justin Bernstein, Kian Khajooei, Avery Hitchcock and Rahul Hari. Bottom row: Mikayla Wasiri , Delaney Gold-Diamond and Brittnee Bui.

The UCLA Law Trial Team is headed to the National Trial Competition.

Considered among the most prestigious trial competitions in the country, NTC is hosted by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. To qualify, a school has to win its regional tournament. On Sunday, March 1, the team of students participating in UCLA Law's A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy finished the Southern California regional tournament with an undefeated record, earning a spot in Dallas in April.

The team comprised Delaney Gold-Diamond '21, Kian Khajooei '20, Chandler Matz '21, Brittnee Bui '20, Mikayla Wasiri '20 and Avery Hitchcock '21. They were coached by Rahul Hari of Wilkinson Walsh Eskovitz, and UCLA Law Director of Trial Advocacy Justin Bernstein.

The students had an unusual case. A widow sued an insurance company for wrongful death after its delay in paying a claim caused her husband financial ruin, which allegedly led to his suicide. The students prevailed in the final round as the plaintiff, even though the issues seemed to favor the defense. At the regional qualifier, UCLA faced excellent opponents, winning trials against Loyola Law School, University of San Diego School of Law, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law and Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

In the last year, UCLA Law is the only school in the country to qualify for all three of the national trial tournaments: the American College of Trial Lawyers' National Trial Competition, the American Bar Association Labor and Employment National Tournament and the American Association of Justice National Tournament.

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