Reynolds beats Waller and continues to the National Top Gun Mock Trial Competition

Posted: Tue, 04/16/2013 - 15:29

The Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition is designed to provide a forum for recognition and competition among the nation’s best student advocates. Invited to this competition are 16 of the nation’s most successful trial advocacy school. Each school sends its best student advocate to compete for the honor of being named the National Top Gun. This year, June 2013, marks the fourth consecutive year Cumberland School of Law has been invited to send a representative to this competition. In 2011, Shannon O’Guin from the Cumberland School of Law Class of 2011 placed second at the 2011 National Top Gun Competition.

At the Top Gun competition, the students are given the case file 24 hours prior to the start of the first round. New witnesses and evidence are added with each round. The winner of the competition is awarded $10,000 and the title of Top Gun.

On Saturday, April 13, a competition was held at Cumberland School of Law to determine who the law school will send to the 2013 Top Gun. The student advocates selected to participate by the trial team coaches were Keith Knowlton, Jennifer Reynolds, Cory Ricci and Chambers Waller.

To simulate the National Top Gun Competition, these students received their case file on the afternoon of Thursday, April 11. These former trial team members were paired against each other for a semi-final round. They met their witnesses at 8:30 a.m. and the trials began at 9 a.m.

After the first round, Reynolds and Waller advanced to the final round. After a well fought final round, Reynolds was selected the overall winner. She will represent Cumberland School of Law at the 2013 National Top Gun Competition in June.

“The final round of the Cumberland Top Gun competition was a pleasure to watch. It was an intense round where two of Cumberland's best, third-year law student trial team partners, Jennifer and Chambers, went head-to-head. This competition is unique because the advocates had to try the entire case alone and only had 24 hours to prepare before the first round. Both Jennifer and Chambers blew me away with their poise, courtroom demeanor, confidence, preparation and skill. It was obvious that they had won many competitions during their educations at Cumberland. It was a very close round,” said Ashley Reitz Peinhardt, one of the judges in the final round. Peinhardt is a 2010 graduate of Cumberland School of Law. She is an attorney with Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, a law firm that is identified as one of the top plaintiff’s firms in the United States by the National Law Journal.

The law school thanks the student witnesses who took time to participate in this competition:

Sarah Barlow, Samford University
Jacob Butler, Cumberland School of Law
Jay Friedman, Cumberland School of Law
Cody Gardner, Samford University
Tyler Hinton, Cumberland School of Law
Jay Jasper, Samford University
Madalyn Miller, Cumberland School of Law
Ryan Myers, Cumberland School of Law
Priyanka Patel, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Nichol Welty, Samford University
Taylor White, Samford University
Dhavani Zaveri, University of Alabama at Birmingham

A special thank you to the judges:

Elizabeth Hall ’10
Shannon O’Guin ’11
Bentley Patrick ’95
Curtis Peacock
Ashley Peinhardt ’10
Buzz Veal
Kim West