March 11, 2010


MSU Law Trial Advocacy Team Makes Impressive Showing at Regional Competition

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law students Brian Davis and Nick Passalacqua advanced to the final round of the recent Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) Midwest regional competition, held at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Third-year students Davis and Passalacqua made an impressive showing at the event, posting a 3-0 record in the preliminary rounds and beating the University of Cincinnati team in the semi-finals. Coached by adjunct professor Steven Cabadas, the pair was ultimately edged out by a University of Kentucky team, which will advance to the national competition.

"It was a fantastic display of advocacy," said Veronica Valentine McNally, associate director of the Trial Advocacy Programs at MSU Law. "The judges were incredibly impressed with our students." The other MSU Law team at the competition missed the semi-final round by just one ballot, according to McNally.

A total of 28 teams from law schools across Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio argued a mock civil case involving a $1 million life insurance policy. The breach of contract claim hinged on the issue of whether the death was the result of a suicide, as maintained by the defendant, or an accident. TYLA's National Trial Competition, established in 1975, is one of the oldest and most prestigious mock trial competitions in the United States.

The MSU Law Moot Court & Advocacy Board enjoys a strong tradition of success and is earning a national reputation as one of the leading advocacy programs in the country. The Board, which consists of a select group of second- and third-year students, competes against other law schools in appellate and trial competitions hosted by law schools throughout the United States.

Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent Law College, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum rigorous and challenging, and its facility equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320B Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824


(from left) Brian Davis and Nicholas Passalacqua