Ketan Patel Wins 2008 Mock Trial Competition

Lexington, VA Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Moot Court Board at the Washington and Lee University School of Law completed its busy fall schedule on Friday, November 14, 2008 as the Mock Trial competition drew to a close. Top honors went to Ketan Patel '09L. Victoria Corder '10L, winner of the John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Competition, was the Mock Trial runner-up.

The final round of the 2008 Mock Trial was judged by the Hon. James C. Turk, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Virginia. Other students participating in the final round were Robert Dean '10L and Grainne McAnaney, an exchange student from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Virginia Bell '09L and Michael Gaffney '09L served as administrators for this year's trial.

From left: Ketan Patel, Judge James Turk, and Victoria Corder

The Mock Trial Competition provides students the opportunity to plan litigation strategies, practice litigation techniques, prepare witnesses, and conduct a complete trial. Each competitor conducts one direct and one cross-examination and presents either an opening statement or closing argument. The competitors are also responsible for making and responding to objections while witnesses testify and presenting oral motions before trial.

This year's trial involved a woman charged with fatally shooting her husband. The defendant claimed her actions were taken in self-defense, contending that her husband abused her physically for years. The prosecution disputed the self-defense argument, claiming that when the police talked to her immediately after the homicide, she denied that her husband had threatened her in any way.

The Moot Court Executive Board, chaired this year by Rachel Flynn '09L, administers all competitions for the Moot Court Program, which includes the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition, the John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy competition, Mock Trial, Mediation, and Client Counseling. For more information about the Moot Court Board and upcoming competitions, please visit

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