Endowment    2011 E. Earle Zehmer Memorial  
   Mock Trial Competition Winners
   Florida State University


FJA's 2011 E. Earle Zehmer Mock Trial Competition

After a weekend of fierce courtroom competition, the verdicts are in for the 2011 E. Earle Zehmer Memorial Mock Trial Competition! Florida State University successfully defended their title against Stetson University in the final round to become the FJA Mock Trial champs for the second year in a row! Winning team members are third-year students Raul Arispe and Marshawn Griffin and second-year students Joey Chindamo and Jennito Simon. They were coached by Tallahassee attorneys Dana Brooks and Matt Liebenhaut.

The Mock Trial competition simulates a trial-level proceeding in which students portray the roles of plaintiff and defense attorneys and witnesses, before a single presiding judge and two to four scoring judges. This year’s competition featured 12 teams from law schools across the state, including, Florida Coastal School of Law, Florida International University, Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, Stetson University and the University of Miami. The top four teams were Florida State University, Stetson University, Florida International University and Florida State University.

The 2011 competition, hosted by the Young Lawyers Section, was held in Tampa at the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse on November 5-6. The co-chairs were Dante Weston and Adam Werner, both from the firm of Gordon & Doner, P.A. in Palm Beach Gardens. Young lawyers Hardee Bass, Alex Gillen, Curtis Leonard and Jason Whittemore also accomplished much of the behind-the-scenes work to make Mock Trial successful. FJA Staff attendees were event director Elisha Charpentier and Kalon Hopkins. A special thanks to Rep. Jamie Grant and FJA Executive Board Member Chris Ligori for speaking to the mock trial participants about the benefits of FJA membership and the importance of legislative advocacy during lunch on Saturday.

The semi-finalists were announced Saturday evening at the annual Welcome Reception hosted at Splitsville Lanes. Teams, coaches and the Young Lawyer Section enjoyed mingling over dinner, bowling and billiards.

The FJA would also like to thank all those who dedicated their time and efforts to making the 2011 Hon. E. Earle Zehmer Memorial Mock Trial Competition a success! Volunteers from more than 40 local law firms, the FJA Young Lawyers Section and other legal organizations served as scoring and presiding judges for the two-day event. We were also fortunate to have Judge Richard A. Weis from Hillsborough County and the Honorable James D. Whittemore, United States District Judge, to preside over a few early rounds and the finals.

The FJA is very proud of the 2011 Hon. E. Earle Zehmer Memorial Mock Trial and participants, and we look forward to next year’s competition!

Check out our Facebook page for all the fun pictures taken at the event!