Trial Team Takes Third in ATLA Nationals
A UF Trial Team squad — advocates Fermin Lopez (standing) and Christopher Klemawesch (left), witnesses Kenneth Grace (right) and Stacey Gross — finished third at the American Trial Lawyers Association national championships in Chicago in late March. UF was one of 244 teams and 14 regional champions at the ATLA competition. The team was coached by Gainesville attorneys Denise Ferrero (J.D. ’92) and Brande Smith and student assistant coach Rashel Johnson. “We owe a lot to support we received from the team, faculty, and our friends and families,” said Klemawesch. “The preparation and competition were incredibly intense. We learned a lot and grew — not only as competitors but as future lawyers.” The team was undefeated in preliminary rounds, taking decisions over Brooklyn, Capitol (Ohio) and defending national champion Temple University. UF then eliminated Brooklyn in the quarter-finals before falling to Pepperdine. Harvard topped Pepperdine to win the championship. Trial Team Coach Robert Rush’s squad is next to compete, at the American Bar Association national championship in April.