Week 9 2019

It’s Finally Here! SAP Mock Trial

It’s Finally Here! SAP Mock Trial

The Mock Trial is finally here. We have been preparing for this the entire summer. The last two weeks was sort of a blur because it was filled with practices, assignments, trials, luncheons, etc. But nevertheless, we all prevailed. Special shout out to Patrick Delaney, Lindy Keown, Sally Culley and the wonderful attorneys in Miami who also helped Phoenix and I prepare. We couldn’t have done it without you all. I arrived at the office around 8 am Monday, which gave Phoenix and I about an hour and a half to prepare for the morning session where we represented the Plaintiffs. I feel like time flew by, because before I knew it, it was 9:30 and we were in the Boardroom getting ready to begin. It started off with Grace and Phoenix battling with their Motions in Limine, then I was up next. I had to do the Plaintiff’s Opening but I was ready. I had been rehearsing all weekend for this moment. After that, we began direct examination of our witnesses, followed by cross examination of Grace and Eric’s witnesses. Honestly, there were some things that didn’t go our way the first trial and it initially had us in a slump. There was evidence being kept out, objections being sustained on their end and overruled on our end, but Phoenix and I were still able to overcome and finish strong. After the first session, Dan Gerber’s comments consisted of telling us to loosen up, have fun and give more passion. For me, I know my opening sounded sort of robotic and that was because I was so nervous. I memorized it and just didn’t want to stumble over my words. 

We had lunch but I didn’t eat much because Phoenix and I were preparing for the side that we were more comfortable with, the defense. This time, it was my turn to argue the Motions in Limine and I was able to get one of them granted—both of the Plaintiffs motions were denied. So starting off, I did gain some confidence from that. The afternoon session was now underway. I even had some family stop by so that gave me some more energy as well. This time around, we were able to get some evidence in and even were winning some of our objections. The afternoon session flowed much better than the morning session. I’m sure it was because we had all gotten rid of our butterflies and our adrenaline was rushing really high. The afternoon session actually went by pretty fast, then it was my turn to end it all by giving the closing argument for the defense. Eric had used all of his time for his closing so there wasn’t a rebuttal. If anything, this is the thing that I was most prepared. Our theme was control, and I remember starting and the argument just flowing. Normally, I prepare my argument and just stick to what I practiced, but I was able to incorporate some examples, address opposing counsel’s argument and even walk around. I was really impressed with myself and I could tell that the people in the Boardroom were impressed as well. Our feedback at the end of the trial was short but effective. Dan Gerber emphasized the importance of passion and telling the story. David Shelton focused on knowing the legal arguments and evidentiary rules. Rob Blank echoed their sentiments and said that we were much better in the afternoon. After tallying up the scores, Grace won this year’s best advocate. GO GRACE! It was well deserved, and I was definitely able to pick up a few of her techniques since this was my first time doing something like this. I also have Trial Advocacy class in the fall so I will be more than prepared for that. 

This summer at Rumberger has been one for the books. I was surrounded by very good people who I know had my best interests at heart. The summer was indeed busy, probably the busiest I’ve ever been but I appreciated every second of it. The workload and events made everything worth it. I know that being a part of the RumbergerKirk family would be a honor. I am very grateful that I was given an opportunity to work for this firm. 

I also want to give a personal shout out and thanks to a few people who helped me tremendously this summer: Sally Culley for being an amazing mentor; Lindy Keown for likewise being a great mentor and being there whenever I needed help; Shenele Pettis-Bright for being there whenever I needed any assistance; LaShawnda Jackson, for showing me how to carry myself as both a lawyer and a black woman; and last but not least, Kaye Daugherty. With this being Kaye’s last program, I am especially grateful to her. She went above and beyond for each and every one of us from the beginning to make sure we had an eventful summer. Even with her retiring, she still asked for feedback and wanted to know what still could be done to make the Summer Associate Program better. Since I was in Orlando the entire time, I had the opportunity to experience her kind heart on a weekly basis and it never went unnoticed. The SAP would not be what it is today without Kaye, and I will forever be grateful for the time I spent with her. My last day is Friday and then that will be it. I will be off to finish my final year at Barry, and then on to passing the Bar. This summer has been like a dream to me, something that I never knew would mean so much. And I owe it all to everyone I have encountered this entire summer from partners, associates to secretaries and paralegals. Each and every one of you made it very special. 

Thank you RK, you will always be appreciated.