- February 8, 2023 | News
ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW TAKES HOME 2023 CHESTER BEDELL MOCK TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
For three days this January, sixteen teams from eight Florida law schools competed in the 39th Annual Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition hosted in Orlando, Florida, by the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar.
For the second time in the history of the Competition, St. Thomas University College of Law took home the first-place trophy, with Florida International University School of Law finishing second. St. Thomas University’s first Bedell title was in 2011.
St. Thomas University’s winning team was composed of advocate Michael Rizo, advocate Vanessa Guiracoche, witness Valentina Grizales, and witness Conor Sloan. Michael Rizo took home the Best Advocate award.
In addition to St. Thomas University and FIU, law schools from Barry University, University of Florida, University of Miami, Stetson University, Nova Southeastern University, and Western Michigan University (Cooley) fielded impressive teams in this prestigious annual event that helps students develop the skills needed for trial practice after graduation.
Florida Bar President Gary Lesser opened the competition with welcoming remarks, praising the law students for their achievements, and encouraging them to become active members of The Florida Bar and contributors to the profession upon graduation. The final competition round, presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Mendoza of the Middle District of Florida, was broadcast on Facebook Live and can be viewed on demand on the Trial Lawyers Section’s Facebook page.
Whitney Untiedt, a Miami-based civil trial lawyer and co-chair of the Competition, said, “The poise, confidence, and skill each of the law school advocates brought to the competition was superb across the board. They demonstrated the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, and I look forward to welcoming these outstanding students to The Florida Bar and the Trial Lawyers Section.”
Florida law firms Bishop & Mills, Kohn Law, Beytin, McLaughlin, McLaughlin, O’hara & Bocchino, Bond Schoeneck & King, and Freidin Brown, P.A. joined the Bedell Foundation as sponsors for the weekend-long mock trial competition.
The Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition demonstrates a commitment by the Trial Lawyers Section to advancing trial skills and courtroom advocacy in Florida. Judges and attorneys volunteered their time to participate in the competition, presiding over the mock trials and scoring the students’ performance.
Judge Jeffrey Levenson, who serves on bench of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County and has been involved in organizing the Bedell Competition for several years, said, “As judges participating in the competition, it is astounding how good the law students present themselves. As judges, we find it so rewarding to work with such a talented and motivated group.”
For more information about the Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition please visit:
To view a recording of the championship round please visit:
The Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar – Chester Bedell Mock Trial Finals | Facebook