Trial Team Wins Florida Bar Competition For Second Year
The University of Florida Trial Team won first place — which amounts to the state championship — for the second time in a row at the prestigious and highly competitive Chester Bedell Memorial Mock Trial Competition Jan. 9-10 in Miami. Winning Team members were Paula Ferris (awarded Best Advocate), Fermin Lopez, Tony Sos and Betty Toussaint. Also competing were Mackenson Bernard, Harley Brook, Desiree Demonbreun, Shawntoyia Grier, Yolanda Green, Bradley Harper and Lindsay Topping. Team President Michael Pike said the team sacrificed most of their holiday break to practice under tutelage of coach Judge Phyllis Kotey (JD ’85). “It’s encouraging to know we came through in the heat of competition,” said Ferris. “Our hard work was well-rewarded.” Sos agreed, and added that the team’s chemistry was crucial. Lopez and Sos also serve as Vice Presidents for Member Education for the team. “Everyone fed off each other’s talents, which is ideal in a competition setting,” said Sos. This month’s win continued the string of high profile victories started in 2001 by the UF Team at The Florida Bar Chester Bedell Memorial Competition and American Trial Lawyers Association Regional Competition. The Florida Bar victory was particularly significant. UF garnered the top spot last year by defeating Stetson University, which had won the competition 13 times to UF’s two since 1983. UF continued its winning style at the 2001 ATLA Regional Trial Team Competition, capturing first for the second year in a row. Trial Team is sponsored through endowed scholarships created by former Law Center Trustees Chairman Ronnie H. Walker (JD ’68) of Orlando, and the law firm of Coker Myers Schickel Sorenson Higginbotham & Green in Jacksonville. A scholarship funded by Law Alumni Council member S. William Fuller Jr. (JD ’70), a trial lawyer with Fuller Johnson & Farrell in Tallahassee, rewards students competing in the annual Florida Bar Chester Bedell Competition.