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Going out on a W

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 1, 2012 in NotFail

It’s been a great night!

This past week has been our annual Law Week activities at the North Carolina Central University School of Law,1  capped tonight with our annual Law Week Banquet where “The Big Five”2 announce the winners of their respective competitions and the SBA elections, praise their outgoing executive boards, listen to the outgoing President give his remarks, and so on.

The banquet this year was notable from the start for completely and totally shattering every single attendance record in existence at the law school over its 73-year history :D

Best-attended banquet in 73 years!

Last semester my Vice President and I came up with some new ideas for improving the event,3 she then put together a stellar agenda/program for the event then she and her planning committee made things happen. With over 210+ people in attendance, we had about 70 or so more people than the previous banquet attendance record.

We were charging folks $20 apiece for tickets ($35 for alumni/faculty/staff) and still had to turn people away! :crack:

The student speakers ran a bit long so a good chunk of those 210+ were gone by the time I gave my (abbreviated) farewell address at the end of the night, but it didn’t matter because my night was made earlier that night…

BECAUSE I FINALLY WON SOMETHING! :spin:

After 2.5 years, I finally got 1st place!

After coming in 3rd place my 1L year with my “Alice in Wonderland” closing, then clawing up to 2nd place last year despite a horrible ambulance-chaser-inspired fact pattern, I finally made it to the top of the dog pile in our 3L closing argument competition (even after screwing up a guy’s last name)! :D

And I didn’t just make it to the top in the trial advocacy stuff — I somehow also got the best oral advocate and best overall awards for our Fall moot court competition, named after Judge TP…

…yes, that’s the same guy who held me in contempt during my final trial in trial practice :beatup:

I’m probably one of the few people who has honestly enjoyed his entire law school career, but after my grades last semester I was bitterly disappointed that I probably won’t be able to graduate with honors. As shallow as it probably sounds, coming in 1st in both of these competitions coupled with having an incredibly successful year at the helm of the SBA helps to lessen the sting ;)

The dog’s pestering me to go outside so I’ll have to cut this entry here, but more to come at some point in the near-term future now that my SBA obligations are winding down. Have a great night y’all! :D

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From the law:/dev/null competition-related archives:

  1. A crazy week indeed — my birthday on Monday, a rally that same day about the Trayvon Martin homicide attended by about 250 people from both the law school and undergrad, our annual 1L/2L/3L basketball tournament, nearly a dozen different student organization events including Speed Networking II and symposiums for both of our law reviews, our SBA and class elections on Thursday, and more stuff I’m probably forgetting… :crack: []
  2. The Student Bar Association and the 4 organizations who provide academic credit to their participants: our “regular” law review, our biotechnology and pharmaceutical law review, our Moot Court Board, and our Trial Advocacy Board. []
  3. Including bulk table sales for student organizations: selling 10 seats as a block to the organization itself, then letting the organization resell the tickets to their members at whatever price point they want and keeping whatever they can raise. Capitalism works y’all! []

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When polysyllabic surnames attack!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 3, 2011 in The 3L Life

I know I’ve been gone for a long time folks, but I kid you not when I say last week has been the week from hell in terms of multiple events going on every. single. day. :crack:

I’m 2 assignments behind in AppAd,1 nearly a week behind on a Tax assignment, couldn’t even tell you how far back I am in reading for Sales, etc etc etc. I’ve got another bullet-pointed update to post at some point this week that will explain in greater detail.

In the interim, however, this past weekend we had our annual tryouts for NCCU Law‘s trial teams — where I got mauled by polysyllabic surnames :beatup:

Once again I ended up being defense counsel for a guy on the hook for murder, with a scant 7 minutes to explain to the jury in my closing why there’s no possible way he could have done it. The biggest challenge for me? The dead guy’s name is McKenzie, the trigger man’s name is Kubinsky, and the widow who financed the hit is the dead guy’s wife Mrs. McKenzie.

Trying to say McKenzie and Kubinsky in the span of a few minutes didn’t turn out so well. See for yourself…2

Folks I’ve gotta tell you, I felt like the closing was going pretty doggone well until I hit that point — but the instant my tongue got tied up on his name, it seemed like time itself crraaaaawwwwwllllled to a standstill. I left out part of what I planned to say, added in stuff elsewhere that I never planned to say, and felt like I speed-talked through the final two minutes to make sure I made it within the time limit.3 :beatup:

No one but myself to blame on that one. I was fighting hard for #1 in the competition but at this point I’ll be content just being on the team again :)

If you want to read through the fact pattern that was used in this case, check out State v. Blizard at TYLA.org.

More to come later this week. Have a great night y’all! :D

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From the trial team competition-related archives:

  1. And missed class this morning because my car needed repairs (again) :mad: []
  2. As a reminder, these videos now use the HTML5-friendly iframes format for embedding video; if you have trouble playing it, let me know! []
  3. I squeaked by, clocking in at 6:57 :surprised: []

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Scaling the wall, redux

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 19, 2010 in The 2L Life

Hey everybody :)

Remember that old post from the summer about how the wall between 2L and 3L had pretty much disappeared during my summer school classes?

Apparently that applies to trial advocacy competitions too ;)

I served as the bailiff/timekeeper for the annual 3L Willie Gary Closing Argument competition for the Trial Advocacy Board, and my goodness were the 3Ls nervous.

There were folks who forgot the basic opening protocol (things like saying “May it please the court” or recognizing opposing counsel). The person who I thought gave the best presentation paced back and forth the entire time in front of the jury box. The one who I thought gave the second-best presentation did most of it from in front of the defense table (as a prosecutor) about a dozen feet from the jury box.

Two even sat at the wrong tables :surprised:

And it wasn’t just new 3Ls who hadn’t done this stuff before getting affected by bad nerves. One of them had won the Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition during his 1L year. Two others were part of the T.A.B. leadership. Another spent his post-2L summer in a courthouse practicing via the 3rd year practice rule.

I saw flaws in everybody.1 But the worst part? In a schadenfreudian sort of way it made me feel better to know it’s not just us 2Ls who get nervous :beatup:

  1. Though take all this with the requisite grain(s) of salt, since I’ve been told I’m “overly critical” as a judge. []

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