National Institute for Trial Advocacy Sponsors “Tournament of Champions”

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Stetson University College of Law hosts 17th annual competition.

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), long recognized as the leading continuing legal education institution, today announced the details of its 17th annual “Tournament of Champions” to be held October 25-28. This invitation-only event attracts the top 16 elite trial programs for one of the most celebrated trial competitions in the nation. Each of the 16 invited law schools then selects four of their top students to try that year’s tournament case. As a prior winner, Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Fla., will host this year’s event.

Throughout the three-day challenge, law students take turns acting as advocates and witnesses in mock trials. Each trial must include an opening statement, direct and cross-examination of two witnesses per side, as well as closing arguments. Each advocate must conduct an opening statement or closing argument, one direct examination and one cross-examination. The most effective advocate receives the much-coveted James H. Seckinger trophy.

“I am honored that the award is named after me,” said James H. Seckinger, who was the director of NITA from 1979-1994. “It is great to be able to recognize wonderful trial advocacy programs throughout the United States.”

This is the 11th year that NITA has sponsored the match, brainchild of Professor Charles E. “Chuck” Kirkwood of the University of Akron School of Law. In 1989, he invited the most reputable trial advocacy law schools based on their performance in two open student trial competitions, the National Trial Competition and the ATLA National Student Trial Advocacy Competition. With the relocation of NITA’s headquarters to its Louisville, Colo. National Education Center, “NITA City,” will play host to next year’s contest.

About NITA

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) is the nation’s leading provider of litigation skills training. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Louisville, Colorado, NITA pioneered its unique learn-by-doing methodology over 35 years ago and has remained the gold standard in continuing legal education ever since. With an average student/faculty ratio of 4:1 and an all-volunteer faculty drawn from a cadre of judges, law professors and practicing attorneys, attendees at NITA’s week-long basic trial skills “boot camps” experience significant improvement in their ability to advocate for their clients. NITA places a special emphasis on training lawyers who work in child advocacy, tribal law, death penalty defense and violence against women. NITA is also the nation’s third largest publisher of legal texts, many of which are used by renowned law schools.

For more information, visit http://www.nita.org.

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Sheryl Bass
NITA
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