Pitt Law Wins Regional ABA Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition

Pitt Law’s student teams dominated the 11th Annual American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Labor and Employment Law (LEL) Trial Advocacy Competition regional tournament, defeating the University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University only to face one another in the semifinal round. Pitt Law “Team G” advanced to the finals over “Team H” and again defeated Penn to win the entire competition.

Held November 15–16, 2014, at the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia, the tournament consisted of two trials Saturday and a semifinal round Sunday morning followed by the finals. The winning Pitt Law team of Christen Casale, Chad Hienz, Kaylee Klixbull, and Evan Nogay will compete in the national competition in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January. Members of Pitt Law “Team H” were Ryan Crivella, John B. “Jeb” Keller, Rebecca Kennedy, and M. Gerald Mensah.

“Competing against another Pitt team was very unexpected,” said Casale. “I think we were exceptionally evenly matched because of the hours and hours we all spent practicing together.”

Coaching the team during the hours of practice and throughout the competition was Pitt Law alumnus Robert Dapper, JD ’86. Fellow alum David Rosenberg, JD ’82, who oversees the school’s mock trial program, said he doesn’t recall a time in the history of the school when a Pitt Law team won a major trial competition or both Pitt Law teams advanced to the semifinal round.

“We are very proud of Christen, Chad, Evan, and Kaylee for clinching the regional title,” Mensah said. “Coach Bob Dapper is a fantastic mentor and motivator, and we couldn't be more pleased to have him as our captain. In addition, Dave Rosenberg has built a wonderful program with fantastic coaches.”

“Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I am excited to help the team try and bring home another win for Pitt at nationals,” said Casale.

Read more about the ABA LEL Trial Advocacy Competition.