The National Trial Team is a hard-working, competitive, highly skilled group of men and women who compete in a variety of inter-school mock trial competitions throughout the country. Over the years, the team has consistently placed among the top law school teams in the country. Trial team competition teaches students how to meet the practical challenges courtroom lawyers face in the intensely competitive arena of mock trial tournaments. Students are taught how to try cases. That means, in addition to polishing and honing their basic advocacy skills, students are taught how to analyze and master a trial file, take control of the courtroom, discipline hostile and aggressive witnesses, handle difficult judges and turn the law of evidence into their ally. The trial team experience teaches students how to be trial lawyers - how to win fairly and squarely.
The trial team members are chosen through a competitive selection process. Membership brings academic credit. Team members enroll in two Advanced Trial Advocacy Courses: Pre-Trial Motions Practice and Evidence Strategies. In their first year of membership, students earn 4 credits. In their second year on the team, students earn 3 credits. Team members try at least two cases per year – one fall and one spring.
There will be trial team information sessions held on Tuesday, April 15, and Thursday, April 17, at 12pm. Check TV monitors in Klein Hall and Barrack Hall for location.
Auditions for spots on the 2014-15 Trial Team will be held both in the spring and again in early September. All current students beyond the first year may audition for these spots. Students who auditioned in the spring are encouraged to audition in the fall.
The spring audition has one round. Students are asked to give a 5 minute closing argument based on their LRW oral argument fact pattern or on their ITAP or ITA final trial. Students may be asked to speak extemporaneously following spring tryouts. A limited number of students will be given a 'bye' to the second round of fall tryouts or be invited to our summer Trial Team Boot Camp Program.
The fall audition is divided into two rounds. In Round 1, you will be asked to give a closing speech for either the plaintiff or the defense (your choice) in a mock file which will be posted. You may be interrupted and asked to address a particular part of the case. You may also be asked to speak extemporaneously about a topic of our choosing. If you get called back for Round 2, you will be assigned a partner and asked to try the case -- that is, selective parts of the mock file in a limited amount of time against two other advocates. Finally, you may be interviewed about your background, schedule and commitment. At the end of the fall auditions, the names of the members of the 2014-2015 trial team will be posted.
Memorandum to Prospective Trial Team Members (PDF)
Spring auditions will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and, if needed, Wednesday, April 23, beginning at 1 p.m.
NOTE: Audition times are scheduled every 10 minutes during days/times listed above.
Fall audition sign up will begin on Monday, April 16. Email Mary.Beth.Wilson@temple.edu to sign up for an audition time.
Barbara Ashcroft is a former Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney and is currently the Director of the LL.M. In Trial Advocacy Program at Temple and an Associate Professor.
Marian Braccia is a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney. While at Temple, she won the Criminal Justice Competition at Quinnipiac and was a National Quarter-Finalist.
Jennifer Bretschneider is a former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit and Homicide Unit. She is currently the Director of Experiential Programs and Associate Professor of Law at Temple.
Brian Burack is a Chester County Assistant District Attorney. While at Temple, Brian was an NTC Regional Champion.
Carrie Cinquanto is a former Philadelphia Public Defender and Director of LL.M. In Trial Advocacy at Temple. She is currently a managing member of Cornerstone Legal Consultants.
Jacquelyn Coelho is a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney in the homicide unit.
Christopher de-Barrena Sarobe is a Chester County Assistant District Attorney assigned to the drug unit. He has coached invitational winners and was a National Quarter-Finalist.
Alex Gosfield is a Chester County Assistant District Attorney. While at Temple, Alex was a National Finalist.
Sara Guccini is an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia who has worked both in the Charging Unit and in major trials. She is also a former trial team member at her alma matter, GW Law School.
Sara Jacobson is a former Philadelphia Assistant Public Defender. She is currently the Director of Trial Advocacy Programs and an Associate Professor at Temple.
Samantha E. Jones is an associate at Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer, and Check, LLP. While at Temple, she was both a member of the National Trial Team and the President of the Moot Court Honors Society.
Maureen McCartney is an Assistant United States Attorney and former Director of Trial Advocacy at Temple. Maureen has coached multiple regional, invitational, and national championship teams.
Rahul Munshi is an Associate at the Console Law Offices. He is a former NTC trial team member, and has coached teams to invitational championships.
Edward D. Ohlbaum is a Professor of Law and Director of Trial Advocacy Programs at Temple. He has been coaching the trial team since its inception in 1986.
Justin Oshana is an Assistant Defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia and former JAG officer. While at Temple, he won the Tournament of Champions, was a two time Regional Champion and National Quarter-Finalist, and served as the President of the Moot Court Honor Society. He also has an LLM in Trial Advocacy from Temple.
Mia Roberts Perez is a former Philadelphia Assistant Public Defender in the Major Trials unit and currently runs her own criminal defense practice. While at Temple, Mia won the Tournament of Champions and was a finalist at the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) national championship. She was also on the National Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Mock Trial Championship Team in 2005.
Nyssa Taylor is an Assistant Public Defender who has worked in both the Federal and State Offices in the Appeals Unit.
Marie Trijo is an Assistant City Solicitor and former Associate at White & Williams. While at Temple, she was a National Semi- and Quarter-Finalist at the American Association for Justice [AAJ] Trial Competition.
Mike Zable is an Associate at Cozen O'Connor, practicing commercial litigation and doing pro bono work with the Innocence Project. He was a member of the National Trial Team while at Temple, earning Best Advocate in the opening rounds accolades at the Tournament of Champions and winning the inaugural Capitol City Challenge.