2019 AAJ STAC National Champions: Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Over this past weekend, Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law won the national finals of the 2019 American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC). Campbell was a buzz saw throughout the competition, going undefeated in the preliminary rounds without losing a single scoring ballot. In order to advance to the Sunday final round, Campbell defeated Alabama in the quarter-finals and Stetson in the semi-finals. On the other side of the bracket, Akron overpowered Belmont and Loyola to advance. In an extraordinarily close championship round, Campbell edged out the win over Akron -- 2 to 1 on ballots -- trying the case as the defense.
Campbell's winning squad was anchored by 3L Anna Claire Turpin, who was joined by 2Ls Lydia Stoney, Kevin Littlejohn, and Ethan Carpenter. The defense pair of Stoney and Littlejohn took the final round to secure the championship.
"All of the many hours of preparation and complex discussions about our case paid off, and we could not be happier or more proud of each other as a team," said the team's veteran competitor Anna Claire Turpin. "Our experience in Philadelphia was very memorable. The judges were distinctly impressive and made each round challenging and fun. Our competitors were tough, but the civility and decorum in the courtroom was noticeable. The combination of those aspects with a well-run event made competing that much more enjoyable."
Even a day after the win, the Campbell students were still a little in shock. Ethan Carpenter offered: "The gravity of [the win] still has not completely sank in. Not many people can say they walked past the Liberty Bell every day on their way to compete in the prestigious Byrne federal courthouse in front of distinguished and talented judges and attorneys. The opportunity to compete in Philadelphia, and in this atmosphere for a National Championship, brought once-in-a-lifetime lessons that we will always carry with us both inside and outside of a courtroom. I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of this 2019 AAJ National Championship team and I’m already looking forward to defending the title in 2020."
This year's file was yet another outstanding offering from AAJ and its authors. The case was a bifurcated personal injury matter brought by an injured cave explorer, alleging negligence against a tour company. The competition was fierce, with winners from fourteen regional competitions in attendance and representing the cream of this year's crop in trial advocacy.
Matt Leckman (Leckman Law, Littlepage Booth Leckman) and Sarah Schindler (Kolsby Gordon Robin Shore), who annually serve as coordinators and sponsors for the Philadelphia regional, hosted this year's national finals at the James A. Byrne federal courthouse, with corporate sponsorship from Veritext Legal Solutions.