February 16, 2018 - Cardozo hosted the New York Regional Competition (the regional round of The National Trial competition) February 9-11, with the law school’s Benedict Morelli trial team front and center. The National Trial Competition is the largest mock trial competition in the country, attracting teams from more than 140 law schools and over 1,000 law students each year. Cardozo was proud to host the regional round with two teams of students from the Morelli Trial Team participating in arguments on a civil wrongful death case.

Cardozo students Reginald Greene, Robert Glenn and Casey Duncan were on one team; Michael Ricottone, Sareny Rodriguez and Samuel Rose on the other.

The Morelli Trial team was established in 2016 through a $1 million gift from Arlene and Benedict Morelli, the former president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and founding partner of the firm bearing his name. In addition to supporting the trial team, the gift from the Morellis provides scholarships for students and established the Learning from the Masters Lecture Series, for which New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently came to Cardozo.

The students prepared a full trial, including opening and closing statements and cross examinations. Neither team advanced this year but both performed admirably. The competition coordinator is Cardozo alumna Amy Montoya ’96, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan. She praised the teams and the efforts of Cardozo students who helped with the hosting activities. “Cardozo students really came through for us as witnesses, with very little time to prep, as well as many alumni serving as judges and evaluators. We also had alumnae Nicole Blumberg and Amy Cassidy put in a lot of work as the trial team coaches,” said Montoya. Montoya coordinated the competition for the second time in recent years and helps plan Cardozo’s Learning from the Masters series.

The National Trial Competition was established in 1975 to encourage and strengthen students' advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar. The program is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and is designed to expose law students to the nature of trial practice and to serve as a supplement to their education.

There were 19 teams competing from throughout New York State, as far away as Buffalo and Syracuse.