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This fall, the USD School of Law sent trial teams to five elite

national invitational trial tournaments. Our students travelled to

Gulfport, Florida (Stetson); San Francisco; Buffalo-Niagara, New York;

New York City (Fordham); and Atlanta to compete against students

from the top law schools and trial programs in the United States. During

the 2014-2015 Academic Year, 32 USD law students competed in 13

trial tournaments around the country, 11 of which were invitation only.

Trial Teams

Compete Around

the Country

One of USD’s Trial

Teams at the Stetson

National Invitational

Pretrial Tournament,

from left to right:

Ramon Ortiz, Sam

Krystosek, Allyson

Crespo, Trinette

LaFleur, Becca Reiter


A team from the University of South Dakota School of

Law won the “Most Professional Team Award” at the recent

National Ethics Trial Competition, jointly sponsored by the

American Bar Association, the Anthony M. Kennedy Inns

of Court and the University of the Pacific McGeorge School

of Law.

In two of the past three years, the USD law team placed

in the top five for professionalism and ethics at this elite

national competition. However, this year, the team of Andy

Fick of Quimby, Iowa; Ashlee Wendt of Alcester; Aron

Hogden of Sioux Falls; and Tracye Sherrill of Yankton took

things to the highest possible level.

Twenty law schools, including Georgetown University,

Wisconsin, Colorado, American University, Loyola-

Chicago, Catholic University, Fordham and more, were

invited to the competition.

“I believe that such a remarkable accomplishment

is a testament to the professionalism and ethics of all of

South Dakota’s lawyers and our fine faculty and deans –

all of whom set a daily example for our students of the

professionalism and ethics demanded in today’s legal world,”

said Tom Horton, professor of law and Heidepriem Trial

Advocacy Fellow. Horton directs the USD School of Law

trial teams with help from lecturer Mike McKey and visiting

senior lecturer Ramon Ortiz. USD trial teams entered 12

national competitions during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The National Ethics Trial Competition was established

in 2006 to promote ethical and civility awareness through

the mock trial competition format. It is the only law

school-sponsored competition that features both an ethical

component in the issues to be tried and scoring based

on the participants’ observation of ethical and civility

principles. The competition is open to applications from

all ABA-accredited law schools that have demonstrated

excellence in the training of law students in ethical

trial practice.

USD Trial Team Receives

‘Most Professional Team’ Award