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Liberty News

Litigation team earns bid to nationals

November 16, 2012 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Liberty's litigation team (from left): Joel Hesch (head coach), James Johnson, Dr. Robert Vogel, Caitlin Pennell, Chelsea Surprenant, Madilyn Robinson, Micah Wright, Timothy Todd (assistant coach).


The Liberty University School of Law will send a litigation team to nationals for the fifth time in six years after finishing runner-up in the American Bar Association Regional Negotiations Tournament at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Md., Nov. 10-11.

Liberty competes in one of the toughest ABA negotiations regions, facing opponents from the law schools of American University, the College of William & Mary, Washington and Lee University, George Washington University, Regent University, Georgetown University, University of Richmond, and University of Maryland.

By qualifying for nationals, Liberty is now ranked in the top 24 teams in the nation. The national tournament will be held in Dallas, Texas, Feb. 8-9, 2013.

Representing Liberty at nationals will be the team of Caitlin Pennell and Chelsea Surprenant.

Liberty sent three teams of two to regionals, and placed second, fourth, and fifth overall. Normally, institutions are only allowed two teams, but Liberty won a lottery to fill one of two openings in the tournament.

The team of Madilyn Robinson and Micah Wright finished fourth for Liberty, missing second place, and a bid to nationals, by one half of a point, the narrowest margin possible to miss nationals.

Liberty’s James Johnson and Dr. Robert Vogel took fifth place, falling short of the final round by only one point after facing some of the tournament’s strongest competition in the opening rounds.

Joel Hesch, litigation coach and associate professor of law, said negotiation is becoming a proud tradition at Liberty. He thanked professor Timothy Todd and Liberty’s student Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) board for helping the teams compete at this level.

“Liberty students were truly selfless in helping to prepare the teams for competition, and it reflects well on our school,” Hesch said. “I am also proud of how the students gave God the glory for this great victory.”

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