Florida State Law Students Win National Mock Trial Competition

Top (L-R): Sean Wiggins ('13) and Peter Tragos ('13)
Bottom (L-R): Adrian Mood ('13) and Nicholas Horton ('13)

The Florida State University College of Law Mock Trial Team has won first place in the 2012 National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition held in San Francisco on October 11-14. The competition was sponsored by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and the University of California - Hastings College of the Law. Twenty-two teams from 17 law schools competed in the event, including teams from University of California - Berkeley School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, University of California - Hastings College of the Law, University of Houston Law Center, Pepperdine University School of Law and University of San Diego School of Law.

Winning team members are third-year law students Nicholas Horton, from Cincinnati, Ohio, Adrian Mood, from Lancaster, South Carolina, Peter Tragos, from Clearwater, Florida, and Sean Wiggins, from Gainesville, Florida. Mood also received the competition’s George Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement. The team was coached by Tom Kirwin (’79), who recently retired and previously was deputy chief financial officer at the Florida Department of Financial Services, and Richard Tanner, who is managing partner of the Tallahassee office of deBeaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP.

“We are all so proud of our Mock Trial students for winning this national competition,” said Dean Don Weidner. “Special thanks go to these gifted student competitors, to their coaches, and to Faculty Advisor Ruth Stone.”

The competition problem involved a charge of murder, due to a drive-by shooting, with a gang enhancement charge. The final round judges were Federal District Court Judge William Alsup, of the Northern District of California, California Superior Judge Ann Moorman and CACJ Past-President Ted Cassman.

This mock trial victory adds to a long list of recent competition successes for Florida State’s advocacy teams. Since 2010, the Moot Court Team has won first place in nine national competitions and in one international competition. For two consecutive years, the Mock Trial Team has won first place in the Florida Justice Association’s E. Earle Zehmer Mock Trial Competition.

October 2012