Trial Team Sweeps Student Trial Advocacy Competition Regional Round

March 9, 2021
UCLA Law student Jamie Butts
Jamie Butts ’22 delivers the closing argument in the STAC West Coast regional's championship trial.

Two crews of students representing UCLA School of Law’s A. Barry Cappello Trial Team swept the Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC) West Coast regional, which was held virtually March 4-7. UCLA Law will be among 12 law schools competing at the national championship tournament in April.

The tournament is hosted by the American Association of Justice. More than 100 law schools and approximately 200 teams competed. The case involved a traffic accident that injured a driver and a motorcyclist who then sued each other. 

UCLA Law entered two teams in the regional competition. One team included Jamie Butts ’22, Bryn Evans ’22, Mykel Skinner ’22, and Daniel Zhivanaj ’21. The other included Jack Eyers ’21, Rocky Maas ’22, Emily Owen ’21, and Enrico Trevisani ’22. The teams were coached by Brittnee Bui ’20, a litigator at Covington & Burling; Amanda Mundell, an appellate attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice; and Justin Bernstein, director of the law school’s A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy.

This is the third consecutive year in which UCLA Law won the STAC regional tournament and the second time in three years that the final round was UCLA versus UCLA. There were 16 teams in the region. After three preliminary trials, both UCLA Law teams qualified for the semifinals, where one squad defeated a team from UC Berkeley School of Law, and the other defeated a team from California Western School of Law. This created an all-Bruin final round. Representing the plaintiff motorcyclist, Eyers and Trevisani eked out a narrow win.

“This victory is extra special because three of our students – Jamie, Bryn, and Mykel – were competing as advocates for the first time,” Bernstein says. “Watching them, you would think they’d been doing this for years.”

The trial team is ranked No. 1 in the nation and has won five competitions this academic year, the most of any law school in the country.

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