UCLA Trial Team Wins AAJ Regional Competition

March 4, 2019
The UCLA Law Trial Team at the AAJ Regional in Santa Monica, March 3, 2018.
The UCLA Law Trial Team at the AAJ Regional in Santa Monica, March 3, 2018.

The UCLA School of Law Trial Team won the American Association of Justice's Student Trial Advocacy Competition Southern California regional tournament in early March, giving the school consecutive championships at this event and sending the Bruins to AAJ's national tournament next month in Philadelphia.

UCLA entered two squads. Kyle DeCamp '19, Delaney Gold-Diamond '21, Kian Khajooei '20 and Aidan Welsh ('19) won the tournament with an undefeated record. Blake Berich '21, Nick Dyess '21, Jack Eyers '21 and Tiffany Sarchet '21 won two of their three trials.

The teams were coached by Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Andrew Tran; litigator Neil Thakur, an associate at Greenspoon Marder; and Justin Bernstein, director of the A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy at UCLA Law. The UCLA trial teams also received advice from pre-eminent trial attorney Barry Cappello '65.

The competition involved a civil lawsuit against a cave tour operator after the plaintiff became trapped in a cave during a landslide.

The tournament was held in the Santa Monica courthouse over four days, from February 28 to March 3, 2019. The final round took place Sunday morning, with a crowd of UCLA classmates, parents and friends cheering the team on. The UCLA Law Trial Team has won three of its five competitions this year, and sent at least one team to the semifinals of each tournament.

"So many students contributed to this victory," said Bernstein. "Some students scrimmaged the team to get them ready. Others prepared witness roles so our advocates could practice cross-examination. Still others came to the trials to show support. It was amazing."

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