2013 National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions

Posted: Fri, 11/08/2013 - 17:59

Birmingham, Ala.: From Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, Cumberland School of Law was the host school for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions (TOC). The TOC is the premier trial competition involving the top student advocates in the nation.

The top 16 trial advocacy law schools from around the nation are invited to participate. The invitation is based on each school’s three-year performance at trial competitions. Cumberland School of Law won the TOC in 2011 and placed fifth in 2012.

This year’s tournament was an overwhelming success. Mike Rasmussen, Cumberland Class of 1976, served as the tournament director. A special feature of the competition was the connection to the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The case which the student competitors tried was patterned on the church bombing case.

Cumberland School of Law’s team was comprised of second-year law students Kendall Lee, Jessica Brookshire, Matt Woodam and Robert “Clayton” Cain.

On the opening night of the program, the many TOC participants and coaches toured the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Civil Rights Institute. The next night, Doug Jones, Cumberland Class of 1979, presented. Jones was the lead prosecutor in the cases which lead to the convictions of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers.

The success of the tournament was the result of the hard work by many people from Cumberland School of Law. Special recognition is due Tracy Luke who organized the tournament. She was assisted by Lynda Reynolds and Jeff Whitcomb, staff members from the law school. In addition, Andrew Nist, Clark Cary and Genevieve Turner, law students and members of Cumberland School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Board, also made a significant contribution.