3Ls Alex Eaton and Tyler Jefferies Prevail in the 2021 Grossman Trial Competition

The team of 3Ls Alex Eaton and Tyler Jefferies, arguing for the defense, won the 43rd Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition held virtually on March 25, 2021. Jeffries also won Best Advocate. The prosecution team of 2Ls Will Hendon and Nate Kelder were the other finalists for this Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society (AHS) intramural competition, held virtually for the first time in its history.   

The Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby L’85, US District Court Judge for the Northern District of New York, was the presiding judge for the final round. The Hon. Rodney Thompson L’93 and the Hon. Bernadette Roman-Clark L’89 joined Judge Suddaby on the bench.

The teams argued the case of District of Orangeville v. Logan Dunn. “This was a double homicide charge where two little girls were killed in a house fire, believed to be started by the defendant, the girl’s adopted father who never wanted children,” explains 3L Joseph Tantillo, AHS Executive Director. “The defense prevailed in proving the innocence of their client, in particular by an excellent cross-examination of the prosecution’s expert witness, which demonstrated the flaws in her fire investigation techniques.”

Tantillo continues, “Trial is the most difficult type of advocacy to perform over Zoom, and our competitors did a wonderful job. The final was one of the best we’ve seen in years, and the judges echoed that sentiment. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who made the competition a great success.”

Praising the student advocates at the end of the competition, Judge Suddaby said, “I’ve been doing this a long time, since law school. I’ve judged a lot of moot court competitions; the four of you are four of the best I’ve ever seen. Those were the two best opening statements in a moot court competition since I’ve been doing this … I’m just so impressed with all of you; you have a great future ahead of you.”