The Trial Team

Students from each of the three law classes are represented on the FSU Trial Team. First-year students can try out during the spring semester of their 1L year. While many students compete for acceptance onto the team, only those who show outstanding talent are selected. New members enter a rigorous training program designed to teach proper courtroom demeanor, hone their presentation abilities and sharpen their legal reasoning skills. The process includes seminars, practice trials, an intramural competition and a trial practice class specifically designed for team members and taught by renowned trial attorneys. By the end of the fall of their second year, members are ready to compete in and win national advocacy competitions.

2022-2023 Board Members

Neuffer photo


Birmingham, Alabama
Area of Interest:
Civil litigation and commercial law


Rebecca is a 3L member of the Trial Team, currently serving as president. Rebecca was a quarter-finalist in the 2021 Hofstra Mock Trial Competition and has competed every semester for the Trial Team. She also serves as treasurer for the Student Veterans Law Symposium and is a member of the Business Law Society. 

Rebecca spent her summer as a law clerk for Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, where she has accepted a full-time offer. She previously served as a fellow for the Florida House of Representatives. 

Toplak photo

Vice President

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Area of Interest:
Government affairs, business litigation, employment law, and appellate advocacy

Matthew is a 3L member of the Trial Team serving as vice president. He has also previously served as the co-chair of competitions. Toplak was a quarterfinalist in the Buffalo-Niagara Trial Team Competition and semi-finalist in the 2021 Wayne Hogan Intramural Competition. He is also the president of the LitiGators at FSU College of Law, a College of Law student ambassador, and a member of numerous other student organizations.

Toplak is currently a member of Class XVIII of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship Program and is placed at the Division of Emergency Management. This summer, he was a judicial intern at Florida's First District Court of Appeal for Judge L. Clayton Roberts. He previously interned with Tampa Electric Company as a policy and lobbyist intern and clerked for Young Qualls, P.A. as well as Lau, Lane, Pieper, Conley & McCreadie, P.A.

Acevedo photo


Miami, Florida
Area of Interest:
Business litigation


Janelle Acevedo is a 3L member if the Trial Team. She earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from Florida State University. She is also on the board for the Business Law Society and served as the Trial Team’s competition co-chair during her 2L year. 

This summer, Janelle worked as a law clerk for McRae and Metcalf, a local business litigation firm in Tallahassee, where she will continue working through the fall semester. She previously worked as a legal intern for the Mergers and Acquisitions department of Mastec, Inc., a Fortune 500 public company in Miami. 

Wade Photo


Area of Interest:
Criminal litigation and federal government affairs


Fabrizia Wade is a 2L member of the Trial Team. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, where she double majored in English literature and Italian language. Wade is also a proud member of the Black Law Students Association.

This summer, Wade worked at the Department of Corrections in Tallahassee. She spent her summer as an administrative law clerk with specialized training in final orders in response to petitions to initiate rulemaking, bankruptcy filings, and mental health proxies.

Violeta photo

Social Chair

Fort Pierce, Florida
Area of Interest:
Public finance


Violeta is a 3L member of the Trial Team who is currently serving as social chair. She was a finalist in the 2021 Wayne Hogan Intramural Competition and won the competition's Best Advocate Award. She has competed every semester since joining the team, for a total of three competitions. Additionally, she is a staff editor on three journals, including the Florida State University Law Review, the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, and the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, and received a book award in her Gambling course. Violeta also is a member of the Hispanic Law Students Association, Women's Law Symposium, and Phi Alpha Delta. 

Violeta spent her summer as a summer associate at Greenberg Traurig, P.A., and has accepted an offer to rejoin them in their Public Finance Department after graduation.

Devaney photo

Co-Competition Chair

Garnerville, New York
Area of Interest:
Litigation, intellectual property, personal injury


Bianca is a 2L member of the Trial Team, currently serving as co-competition chair. She also serves as competition chair for the Moot Court Team and as a staff editor for the FSU Business Review. Bianca previously served as a 1L representative for the Student Bar Association. She is looking forward to competing as a new member of the Trial Team and hopes to contribute to the team’s national ranking. 

Bianca spent her summer as a legal intern for a personal injury firm in New York. She was also a teaching assistant for a Cybersecurity course in the College of Law's Juris Master Program.

Dukstein photo

Co-Competition Chair

Oviedo, Florida
Area of Interest:
Criminal defense


Ali is a 2L member of the Trial Team. She attended Rollins College where she majored in political science and minored in German. Ali is also a member of the Women's Law Symposium. 

Ali previously worked for Leslie Ann Law, a family law firm in Windemere. She spent her summer as a legal intern at Joshi Law, a private criminal defense firm in Orlando. 

2022-2023 Team Members

Kayla Neal
Jorge Lago
Erin Dumond
Daniela Marrero
Sarai Glaze
Nicholas Sellas
Markiesha Morgan
Larry Lyn