For the first time in school history, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law National Trial Team won the 2013 regional competition of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) in Tucson, Ariz.
The team of Robert Sagerian (3L), Jay B Campbell (2L) and Michael Fabinski (3L) will compete in the national round April 3-7, 2013, in San Antonio. The team is coached by professors Lilys McCoy and Lea Fields-Bernard.
After defeating Western State, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine again in a second bout, Sagerian, Campbell and Fabinski were crowned champions of Region 14.
The TYLA regional competition included 28 teams from Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii. The TJSL team competed in five trials against Western State, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount over the course of four days before being crowned regional champions. The TJSL team never lost a round and received the highest point total of all the teams.
"This is a remarkable achievement for our team and our law school,” Sagerian said. “There has been so much support from the student body, the administration and members of the San Diego legal community leading up to this competition. I would like to thank everyone that was part of the preparation process because your assistance was instrumental to our success."
TJSL sent two teams to the TYLA competition. The other team consisted of Alonso Zavalasoto (2L), David Askander (3L) and Michael Klitzke (2L). They also did well, only just missing the chance to advance.
The competition also had powerful personal meaning for professor McCoy, and it was a triumphant homecoming for her.
“The finals were held in the mock trial courtroom at the University of Arizona, where I studied trial practice as a 3L,” she said. “It was truly moving to watch them take the Region 14 Title in the very room where I first realized I might have the ability try cases.”
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