Miami Gardens, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2019) – For the second year in a row, St. Thomas University School of Law’s trial team was crowned the 2019 ABA Labor and Employment Law National Trial Competition champions. The annual national competition was held from January 26-27 in New Orleans, La., and featured six law schools from around the country – William & Mary, UCLA, Washington University, Brooklyn Law, SMU School of Law and St. Thomas University School of Law; all champions in their own regions. St. Thomas Law’s team was represented by students Stephanie Roman, Yunis Curbelo, Carolina Del Campo, and Jennifer Francisco.
The team was coached by assistant school board attorney for Miami-Dade County Public Schools Jeff James, Esq.; Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office prosecutor and St. Thomas Law alumna Karina Hardeduval, Esq.;
Broward Public Defender Office attorney and St. Thomas Law alumna Katherine Lopez-Espinal, Esq.; and guided by St. Thomas Law professor and alumnus Houson Lafrance, Esq.
Professor Lafrance asserted the team stayed true to its motto, “We based our program on a standard and ‘the standard is excellence and demands consistency’.”
Each round of the competition consisted of the teams representing either the plaintiff or the defendant. As plaintiff representatives, the St. Thomas Law team successfully argued to a jury that the plaintiff, an employee of the defendant, was subject to sexual harassment by a fellow co-worker and that the defendant (a correctional facility) did not do enough to accommodate her concerns and permitted a hostile working environment.
With numerous past awards received, and state and national championships, this back-to-back national championship is yet another reminder of the commitment to excellence in the St. Thomas Trial Team program. The purpose of the Mock Trial Board is to promote excellence in litigation and trial advocacy skills. Students participate in state, regional and national advocacy competitions, vying for team membership through tryouts. St. Thomas University School of Law trial teams have achieved prominence in numerous competitions.