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Lazares, Wallrabenstein capture regional title

February 10, 2014 | Students

The Moritz College of Law mock trial team composed of 3Ls Gus Lazares and Katie Wallrabenstein won the regional round of the National Trial Competition this past weekend and will move on to represent Region 6 at the championship rounds in Austin, Texas this March.

The regional round of the competition was co-hosted by Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse Feb. 7-9. Lazares and Wallrabenstein competed against 19 other teams in a weekend-long event that eliminated teams each round until one victorious duo remained.

Each team was presented with the same case, Wendy White-Hill v. Pipe Test, Inc., which Wallrabenstein defined as “a bifurcated civil suit surrounding a workplace death and employer liability.” She and Lazares were required to try both sides of the case throughout the competition and were judged by 10 federal and state court judges in the semifinal and final round.

“Personally, I feel great that 10 federal judges thought that Gus and I presented our case so well,” Wallrabenstein said. “While it felt great in terms of the competition, it actually made me feel a lot better about my prospects after graduation. This competition has helped me develop trial advocacy skills and our success makes me feel confident that I am prepared to represent real clients after graduation with the zeal and passion that each defendant deserves.”

Wallrabenstein and Lazares, who finished as quarter-finalists in the 2013 National Trial Competition, credit their success to the support of their coach Professor Bob Krivoshey and teammates Ryan Boda and Maria Bruno.

“We feel honored to have represented Moritz and to have brought home the regional championship to the law school for the second straight year,” Lazares said. “That being said, this is only the first step in the process.  The next step is to prepare for the National Championship Tournament in Austin, TX.  The level of competition and intensity of the rounds increases dramatically at the next level.  We would love to bring a national championship to Moritz.”