Ballard Spahr LLP Mock Trial Spring 2016

Group photo from Mock Trial Final

From left:  Nick James, Stephanie Johnson, Judge Staton, Alex Ackel, and Peter Ludlam

Results of Final Trial, March 16, 2016

  • First Place Team: Stephanie Johnson and Nick James
  • Second Place Team: Alex Ackel and Peter Ludlam

All four finalists demonstrated consummate professionalism and strong command of the Rules of Evidence and trial procedure. The final trial determined the team trophies; individual awards were based on performance in the preliminary rounds.

Competition Individual Awards

  • Best Advocate: Alex Ackel
  • Best Opening Statement: Stephanie Johnson and Kellye Ng McCullough (tie)
  • Best Cross Examination: Peter Ludlam

Presiding Judge of Final Trial

U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton

Case Argued

This year’s competition featured a criminal murder case. The State alleges that John Drath shot and killed Steppen Walker with a small caliber pistol after Mr. Drath learned that his 17-year old daughter was in a relationship with the 22-year old Mr. Walker. Mr. Drath has asserted a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.


UCI Law is grateful to Ballard Spahr LLP for its generous underwriting, and for its participation in all rounds of the competition.

Special thanks to U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton, who presided over the trial, and the attorneys (including several alums) who served as jurors/scorers.

Members of the Mock Trial Board—Crystal Caldera, Jennifer Kim, Ann Tran, Honieh Udenka, and Francis Yao— worked very hard over the last several weeks on the tournament’s logistics. Tommy Du ’15, a litigator at Wood Smith Henning and Berman, was the Board’s advisor, and invaluable in providing training to the participants and overseeing the structure of the program. 1L Zackory Burns served as an expert witness, ably portraying the role of a forensic psychiatrist.

Scenes from Mock Trial Spring 2016