Every February, the Maine Law Trial Teams compete in the Regional Tournament of the National Trial Competition. The Competition was created in 1975 to encourage and strengthen students’ advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar. It is presented by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, and co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers.
This year the Maine Law Trial Teams were comprised of the following students:
- Team 1: Sean Flaherty, Tara Golson, and Ian L’Heureux
- Team 2: Michael Miller, Grant Whelan, and Nigel Stevens
- Team 3: Cyrus Cheslak, Scott Dolan, and Morgan Taylor
Twenty-six teams from thirteen law schools competed in the Regional Competition this year including: Yale Law School, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Boston University School of Law, Vermont Law School, and Roger Williams University School of Law. The Competition has three preliminary rounds, then a semi-finals round, and then finals. This year, going into the third preliminary round, Maine Law’s Team 1 was in first place, and Maine Law’s Team 2 was in sixth place. (Maine Law’s Team 3 was a scrimmage team, but they ended up participating in the Regional Competition as a “foil team,” because there were an uneven number of teams competing.) Team 1 advanced to the semi-finals, continuing their undefeated streak and advancing to the final round. In the end, they split ballots with the University of New Hampshire School of Law and narrowly missed advancing to the National Competition in Texas. Team 1’s Sean Flaherty won best advocate in the final round.
For the past seven years, the Maine Law Trial Teams have been coached by Amanda Doherty ‘08. She is currently an Assistant District Attorney at the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that she was a trial attorney at the Doherty Law Office and at Strike, Goodwin, & O’Brien. During her time as a student at Maine Law, she was a regional finalist in the National Trial Competition, served as Co-Chair of the 2008 Moot Court Board, and was President of the Federalist Society.
“I am so proud of these students,” said Doherty. “Each of them was motivated to improve upon the basic trial skills they had learned in Trial Practice, and learn advanced trial lawyer techniques. Throughout this class they worked hard as a team, but also stayed on top of their individual academic classes, internships, externships, and family life. Their efforts were obvious at this competition. I hope many of them become trial attorneys, whose clients will benefit from their advocacy.”