Barry University School of Law’s Trial Team has made school history, winning first place in the prestigious Florida Bar Chester Bedell Mock Trial Competition, held January 21- January 23 in West Palm Beach.
Members of the winning team were Luis Herrera, James Smeriglio III (advocates), William Sepulveda, Nikki Metzgar-Schall, and Jackson Lubin. They were coached by Barry Law alums Jordan Ostroff (’12), Nicholas Primrose (’13) and Denise Kim Beamer (‘09).
In the preliminary rounds, Barry Law’s student advocates defeated teams from Stetson Law and Florida State University School of Law, scoring a 5-0 jury verdict in Round 3 against Stetson.
In the semifinal round, Barry Law’s advocates beat Florida Coastal School of Law, setting up a final showdown against 21-time champion Stetson. Barry Law’s team prevailed in dramatic fashion, pulling off the upset and taking First Place in the competition for the first time in school history.
The win also was a personal triumph for Barry Law’s Luis Herrera, who becomes the school’s first three-time champion, and teammate James Smeriglio III, now a two-time champion. Herrera was named runner-up for the overall Best Advocate Award during the final round.
Barry also sported a second team in this event, with 1L participants Christopher Bailey, Tracy Scowden, Chloe Zubkin, Andrew Abreu and Sofia Hernandez. The 1L team advanced to the Top 8, which marks the first time in recent school history that both teams have advanced in the same competition.
The Florida Bar victory comes on the heels of the Trial Team’s most recent win, a National Championship in November’s Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy Competition (PRTAC). Herrera (Perfect Score and Best Advocate) and Smeriglio were on that championship team, along with Amanda Dunn and Christina Figueroa. Barry Law’s PRTAC team was coached by Ostroff and Beamer.