2019 National Trial Team Competitions


Academy of Trial Lawyers Mock Trial Competition
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
February 20-21, 2019

Coaches - Pete Giglione, Matt Newman
Student Competitors - Chelsie Horne, Mary Beth Kuznik, Celena Sidun, Bridget Synan 


Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition
Regional Competition
Philadelphia, PA
February 7-10, 2019

Two teams of Duquesne Law students travelled to Philadelphia to compete in The Texas Young Lawyers Association Regional Competition. Alumni Maggie Cooney (’18), Bob Daley (’97), Anthony Hassey (’17), and Andrew Rothey (’14) joined forces to coach the students. Everyone involved put in countless evening and weekend hours to prepare.

Our 2L team made up of James Campese, Gerard Hornby, and David Martin, had never competed before. They defeated Widener and the University of Pennsylvania in the first two rounds, but they were eventually eliminated by Villanova in an impressive showing. We look forward to another great performance by these students next year.

Our 3L team of Erin Corcoran, Travis Gordon, and Samantha Kovalyak defeated teams from Widener and Dickinson in unanimous rulings. They advanced to the semi-finals, where they beat Penn State. Erin and Samantha were the advocates in the final round, facing the top team from Temple. Although the team from Temple was fantastic in their own right, our Duquesne students performed incredibly, winning the title of Regional Champions. Samantha Kovalyak’s ability to think on her feet pushed the team above in the competition. Kovalyak’s performance earned her one of two Best Advocate awards for the entire competition.

Please congratulate our team of 3Ls, who will advance to the National Finals in San Antonio, Texas in March.

Photo of TYLA NTC Team

Coaches (not pictured) - Maggie Cooney, Bob Daley, Anthony Hassey, Andrew Rothey
Student Competitors - David Martin, James Campese, Gerard Hornby, Travis Gordon, Samantha Kovalyak, David Martin


American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition
Pittsburgh, PA
February 28 - March 3, 2019

Coaches - Chelsea Cramer, Robert Disney, Kristin Hoffman 
Student Competitors - Jacob Deane, Annette Dohanics, Morgan Gray, Ashlyn Grim, Kaitlynne Kline, Joanne Parise, Amanda Schiavo, Adam Weiss


Texas Young Lawyers Association
National Trial Competition
National Finals
San Antonio, Texas
March 27 - 31, 2019

In February, Duquesne Law team of 3Ls, Erin Corcoran, Travis Gordon, Samantha Kovalyak, travelled to Philadelphia, where they won the regional competition to advance to the national finals. After a brief celebration, they went back to work with an amazing group of Duquesne Alumni Coaches to prepare for the national finals in San Antonio.

Erin Corcoran, Travis Gordon, Samantha Kovalyak
Coaches: Maggie Cooney, Bob Daley, Anthony Hassey, Andrew Rothey



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Discover Duquesne Law's Trial Advocacy Program



Lone Star Classic
San Antonio, Texas
October 18-20, 2018

For the first time, Duquesne Law was invited to compete against the top trial advocacy programs in the country at the Lone Star Classic in San Antonio, Texas.  Our team of 3Ls, Courtney Brennan, Kaitlynne Kline, Leigh Shoenberger, and Bridget Synan, defeated Liberty, Houston, Samford, and Fordham.  Courtney Brennan earned the Best Direct Examination Award in the preliminary rounds.  With an impressive showing in the early rounds, our team was the number one seed going into the final four, where they narrowly lost to Harvard Law. 

The team was coached by the dedicated husband and wife duo of Chelsea Cramer and Robert Disney.  Pete Giglione (L’02), coordinator of Duquesne Law’s Trial Advocacy Program and recent graduate, Kristin Hoffman (L’18), assisted in preparing the team for competition. 


Coaches - Rob Disney and Chelsea Cramer
Student Competitors - Bridgent Synan, Courtney Brennan, 
(Patricia) Leigh Shoenberger, Kaitlynne Kline
Program Coordinator - Pete Giglione


Buffalo - Niagara Mock Trial Competition
Buffalo, New York
November 9-12, 2018

Congratulations to the Duquesne Law team of 2Ls, Kaitlynne Kline, Travis Gordon, and Celena Sidun, who advanced to the semi-finals at the 15th Annual Buffalo-Niagara National Trial Competition in Buffalo, New York in November.  Coaches, Bob Daley (L’97) and Mike Gianantonio (L’02) dedicated countless hours to the team, who advanced to the sweet sixteen. 

Kline joined the team late due to a series of unexpected events, which limited her practice time.  However, her dedication and work ethic was recognized when she received the award for Best Closing Argument.


Coaches - Bob Daley and Mike Gianantonio (not pictured)
Student Competitors - Travis Gordon, Amelia Goodrich, Celena Sidun,
Chelsie Horne, Kaitlynn Kline (not pictured)


Judge Paul Joseph Kelly, Jr. Invitational
New York, New York
November 10-11, 2018

The 8th Annual Judge Paul Joseph Kelly, Jr. Invitational Mock Trial Competition was hosted by Fordham University in New York in November.  Coached by the Honorable James Ross and Andrew Rothey (L’14), our Duquesne Law team, Emily Corcoran (3L) and Samantha Kovalyak (3L) performed well in this prestigious national competition.  Corcoran and Kovalyak were responsible for advocating on both sides of the case during many hours of preparation.  Kovalyak won the award for Best Opening Statement among all competitors. 

Coaches - The Honorable James Ross (not pictured) and Andrew Rothey
Student Competitors - Erin Corcoran, Samantha Kovalyak