Wednesday, February 11, 2004

WRITER: Brittany Cox, 706/542-5172, lawcomm@uga.edu CONTACT: Kellie Casey, 706/542-2739, krcasey@uga.edu FIRST-YEAR LAW STUDENTS COMPETE IN CLOSING ARGUMENT COMPETITION

ATHENS, Ga. -- First-year law students put their advocacy skills to the test in the 2004 J. Ralph Beaird Closing Argument Mock Trial Competition last week.

Two finalists presented the closing arguments of a mock trial before a judge and jury. The jury was comprised of sitting judges, including a justice of Georgia's Supreme Court, and decided in favor of the defendant, represented by C. Brock Brockington of Atlanta, Ga. The plaintiff was represented Kimberly M. Council of Valdosta, Ga.

The jury's foreman, Georgia Supreme Court Justice P. Harris Hines, commended the students on their poise and knowledge of the law. Based on this excellent showing, he and his fellow jurors feel the future of the law in the state of Georgia is in good hands.

In addition to Hines, the jury panel consisted of five Georgia Law alumni including Clarke County Superior Court Judge Steven C. Jones, Oconee County Judge Sara M. McArthur, Athens-Clarke Municipal Court Judge Ethelyn N. Simpson,Clarke County Superior Court Judge Lawton E. Stephens and Athens-Clarke County Probate Judge Susan P. Tate. Callaway Chair of Law Ron L. Carlson served as presiding judge.

Forty-eight first-year law students participated in this year's competition. Juries of second- and third-year students, faculty and alumni judged preliminary rounds. The top two advocates advanced to the final round on Feb. 6, 2004.

This competition is named in honor of J. Ralph Beaird, dean emeritus and long-time faculty member of Georgia Law.