Campbell Law wins American Association of Justice (AAJ) regional competition, advances to national

Photo of the four law students who won the AAJ Regional Championship posing in a Wake County Court room.

RALEIGH – Two Campbell Law teams competed in the American Association of Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Regional Competition over the weekend at the Wake County Courthouse in downtown Raleigh. And one of those teams is now headed to the national competition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s the third time Campbell Law has competed at the AAJ national competition  since 2011.

Dean J. Rich Leonard has announced that Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban has agreed to sponsor the winning AAJ team of student advocates. The firm’s gift will provide financial assistance for the students’ preparation, travel, and lodging as they compete for the national championship on April 11-14.

“Macari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban has been a fabulous supporter of our advocacy program, and we are extremely appreciative of the firm’s decision to assist our students for another year,” Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard says. “This opportunity will be immensely beneficial for our students, and will give our first-rate advocacy program even more national exposure.”

The team of second-year students Lydia Stoney, Kevin Littlejohn, and Ethan Carpenter and third-year student Anna Claire Turpin beat out a talented team from Wake Forest School of Law to win the regional competition late Sunday afternoon. The winning Campbell Law team is coached by Jacob Morse, a 2017 Campbell Law graduate and associate attorney at Wyrick Robbins.  The other team, made up of second-year students Sarah Sponaugle, Holden McLemore, Nicholas Tessener, and Alexis Massengill, were coached by Professor Bryan Boyd, whose team won regionals in 2013 when he was also the coach.

The AAJ Mock Trial competition seeks to inspire excellence in trial advocacy through training and education for both law students and practicing attorneys. The association accomplishes this goal in part by sponsoring the Student Trial Advocacy Competition, an annual nationwide mock trial competition. The competition is an exceptional opportunity for law students to develop and practice their trial advocacy skills before distinguished members of the bar and bench. 

Don Marcari is a 1985 graduate of Campbell Law and senior managing partner at his firm, Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. He first gained national attention when his exploits as a young defense attorney with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps became the basis for the motion picture “A Few Good Men.” He has been fighting for seriously injured people throughout North Carolina since 1985, and Virginia since 1988, concentrating on plaintiff personal injury law and civil litigation. In addition, he handles veteran benefits claims and continues to defend select members of our military service in courts martial and administrative proceedings.

Graphic with the words Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban

Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. Throughout 2019, Campbell Law is celebrating 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.