Villanova Trial Team Headed to ABA Labor Law National Competition


The members of the 2013-14 Villanova Law Trial Team—Dan McGrath ‘14, Jamie Wiggins ‘14, Brian Farrell ‘14 and Steve Patton ’15—took first place in the New York regional round of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law’s 10th Annual Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition on November 24. As regional champions, the team will compete against seven other regional winners in the National Finals on January 25-26 in San Francisco.

In this year’s regional competitions, students argued Jamie Knight v. Newton Valley Nursing Homes, Inc., an employment discrimination case arising out of an Americans with Disabilities Act claim. The Villanova Law team went undefeated in four trials, prevailing whether they argued as plaintiff or defendant. More than 400 top student advocates on 104 law school teams competed at regionals across the country for just eight spots in the national championship field.

“The team worked extremely hard throughout the semester, along with their teammates Brian McBeth ‘15, Taylor Chicchelly ‘15, Zach Smith ‘15 and John Hickey ‘15, to gain mastery of the facts, law, and important trial advocacy techniques necessary to prevail,” said Michael Lyon ’09, coach of the Villanova Law Trial Team. “Their hard work has obviously paid off handsomely and I congratulate them on their tremendous achievement.”

The ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law established the competition to introduce law students to the challenges and rewards of employment and labor litigation, and to give them an opportunity to develop their trial advocacy skills in a mock courtroom setting.