Duquesne Law Students Take First Place at the Gourley Cup Competition
A team of four Duquesne University School of Law students took home the top honors at the 51st annual Academy of Trial Lawyers Mock Trial Competition on Feb. 21 in Pittsburgh. Hosted by the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County (ATLAC), this invitation-only advocacy competition, commonly referred to as the Gourley Cup, is limited to just 16 law schools and considered to be one of the most prestigious events of its kind.
Duquesne team members Joshua Ward, Laura Pitchford, Nicholas Yovich and Madi Bobb defeated the University of Pennsylvania and outscored all of the plaintiff teams (including Howard University, Catholic University, College of William & Mary, American University, University of Pittsburgh and Widener University Harrisburg) before earning a victory over the Widener University Delaware team by a one-point margin.
In addition to the team's championship win, Ward was named Best Advocate in the preliminary rounds of the competition.
The Gourley Cup competition is hosted by the Federal District Court of Judges of the Western District of Pennsylvania, who host the event in their individual courtrooms. In addition, with the cooperation of the Allegheny County Medical Society, each team is paired with a physician who participates as its expert witness during the competition. Each team is given the unique opportunity to direct and cross-examine actual medical experts as part of the experience.
According to the ATLAC, the competition began in 1963 as "a friendly competition" between Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh's school of law. The Gourley Cup now invites law schools from both the east coast and Midwest regions.