Shannon Cornman O'Guin Takes 2nd Place in National Top Gun Mock Trial Competition

Posted: Mon, 06/06/2011 - 17:37

The 18 best student trial advocates in the country descended on Baylor Law School June 1-5 to take part in the National Top Gun Mock Trial Competition.  Now in its second year, the National Top Gun is limited to 18 law schools and is unlike any other mock trial competition in the nation. Each invited school selects their top advocate to participate. Shannon Cornman O'Guin was selected to represent Cumberland in this year’s competition.

The mock case was a trial over a life insurance policy. A widow sued an insurance company for failing to pay a claim after her husband died falling off a cliff. The evidence permitted the insurance company to defend on the grounds that she pushed him off the cliff or that he committed suicide. The Participants did not know what the case was about until a mere 24 hours before the competition began. During that 24 hours the students assisted taking a deposition of a witness, reviewed existing depositions, records, and photographs, and took a tour to the actual places where events in the case supposedly occurred. Shortly before each round, competitors met their witnesses for the first time.

All the competitors participated in four rounds, two rounds each day, switching the side they represented, with the top four competitors advancing to a single elimination tournament. Shannon made it to the final round where she lost to a competitor from Yale.

The 18 participating law schools are, like Baylor, known for their trial advocacy programs. Schools participating in the Top Gun were Akron University Law School, Barry University School of Law, Chicago-Kent School of Law, Denver School of Law, Duquesne University School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Loyola Law School-Los Angeles, Northern Kentucky University College of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, Samford University-Cumberland School of Law, South Texas College of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Temple University School of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School, Washington University School of Law and Yale Law School.