Winners announced in Wayne Law's Barris competition; trial advocacy program grows
DETROIT – Winners of the winter semester 2014 Donald E. Barris Trial Competition at Wayne State University Law School are second-year students Jack McIntyre of Lake Orion and Royce Nunley of Redford.
The in-house mock trial competition, part of Advocacy at Wayne, an expanded student trial advocacy program, took place Friday, March 21, in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the law school.
For the fall semester 2013 competition Saturday, Oct. 26, winners were third-year student Henry Ibe of Lagos, Nigeria, and Nunley.
Winners from both competitions will receive the Donald E. Barris Trial Competition Award at the 2014-15 Wayne Law Honors Convocation.
Advocacy at Wayne has more than tripled in size over the past year, thanks to a $100,000 donation in spring 2013 from Wayne Law class of 1980 alumnus Lawrence Mann, a former Wayne Law associate professor and a trial attorney and managing partner with Bowman and Brooke LLP in Detroit.
Advocacy at Wayne is led by Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
“At the conclusion of academic year 2012-13, the program had 12 returning members,” said third-year Wayne Law student and Marine Capt. Tanzania Jaysura, who is commissioner of the Advocacy at Wayne program and lives in Dearborn.
After her election to student commissioner, she was tasked with growing the program.
“With the aid of other student executive board members and volunteer attorneys, the program grew from 12 to 40 members by August 2013, which is the largest the program has been in years,” said Jaysura, who will attend Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I., after graduation. “All participants invested a great deal of time and sacrifice in the program’s success over the 2013-14 school year. We expect it to grow to nearly 60 participants during the 2014-15 school year.
“Professor Mann’s generous contribution was instrumental in making all these changes possible.”
For the Barris competition, students in teams of two conduct timed mock trials in a courtroom setting judged by practicing attorneys.
Winter judges were Wayne Law alumni Paul O’Neil, class of 1997, of Bowman and Brooke LLP; Rachel Sisco, class of 2011; and Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Steinhardt, class of 1993. Fall judges were Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor John Donaldson, class of 2013, and Steinhardt.
Part of Advocacy at Wayne is the Student Trial Advocacy Program, which was founded in 1985. It focuses on oral advocacy at the trial level, and its goal is to help students hone professional skills and learn about the trial process.