Harris and Jackson Win 2021 Sutton Barrister's Union Trial Competition

The prosecution and defense with the judges, from left, Hayley Harris, Abby Jackson, Judge Timothy Brooks, Emily White, Judge John Threet, Hannah Malone and Dalton Cook.jpg
Photos Submitted

The prosecution and defense with the judges, from left, Hayley Harris, Abby Jackson, Judge Timothy Brooks, Emily White, Judge John Threet, Hannah Malone and Dalton Cook.jpg

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Second-year law students Hayley Harris and Abby Jackson have won the 2021 William H. Sutton Barrister's Union Trial Competition. The team of third-year students Hannah Malone and Dalton Cook were runners-up.

The Hon. Timothy Brooks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas; the Hon. John Threet of the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Arkansas; and Emily White, Attorney at Law at Caddell Reynolds law firm and a former district judge who has twice been appointed as Special Arkansas Supreme Court Justice, presided over the final round. Brooks and Threet are University of Arkansas School of Law alumni.

The championship, held Friday, Oct. 15, in the E.J. Ball Courtroom, concluded three weeks of the competition, which commenced on Sept. 27 with 16 teams jockeying for position in the knock-out rounds.  Each team competed twice in the Zoom-based preliminary rounds — once as the prosecution, and once as the defense. The results from these 16 matches determined which eight teams advanced to the in-person rounds that began on Oct. 4.

The Best Advocate Award trophy
The Best Advocate Award.
 
Abby Jackson
Abby Jackson
Hayley Harris questions a police officer
Hayley Harris questioning a police officer.
 
Dalton Woods
Dalton Cook
Hannah Malone questions a medical field witness
Hannah Malone questions a medical field witness.
Dean McCabe with Brian Thomas, co-chair of the Board of Advocates
Dean Margaret Sova McCabe with Brian Thomas, co-chair of the Board of Advocates.
Harris receiving the Best Advocate Award by the Odom Law Firm
Harris receiving the Best Advocate Award by the Odom Law Firm.
law students at the moot court reception
Law students at the moot court reception.
Hayley Harris and Abby Jackson
Hayley Harris and Abby Jackson, winners of the competion.

The competition was based on a murder charge — State of Hogville v. Taylor — where a local attorney is found dead in his office after a contentious civil trial results in a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in his favor. His opposing attorney from that case, local lawyer Kelly Taylor, is arrested for the murder.

Students Brian Thomas and Zachary Musgrove, members of the school's Board of Advocates, co-chaired the competition, which is one of several presented by the board each year. The Board of Advocates is a student-run organization that promotes the extra-curricular development of practical skills, in both oral and written advocacy, through practice and participation in both internal and external competition.

"Zac and I are really happy with the competition we were able to have this year," Thomas said. "We juggled multiple formats, had appearances by 58 different alumni and attorneys serving as judges, and were able to hold the final round in the courtroom, in front of an audience, and watched two really excellent teams put on a show."

Harris also won the Odom Law Firm Best Advocate Award, which was presented by the firm's partner Alan L. Lane at the Odom Law Firm Champions Reception immediately after the competition. Established in 1982, Odom Law Firm is an ever-changing firm, adapting to provide clients with the best representation in Northwest Arkansas and nation-wide.

"Hayley and I were incredibly honored simply to have the opportunity to speak in front of three judges, and that alone was a win in our books," Jackson said. "Advocating in the final round, for me, was the culmination of words of advice from my professors, words of encouragement from my parents and peers, and words of affirmation from my co-counsel and witnesses, Hayley Harris, Danielle Essary, and Gage Martin. Hearing Judge Brooks say our names as he read the winning ballot is a moment I will cherish forever!"

The Sutton Trial Competition is held annually and is named for William H. Sutton (1931-2015), a 1959 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law with a distinguished legal career that spanned more than five decades.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

Contacts

Yusra Sultana, director of communications
School of Law
479-575-7417, ysultana@uark.edu

Headlines

U of A Preserves Native Genetics from Remnant Tallgrass Prairie Site

The U of A Office for Sustainability has partnered with the U of A Herbarium to inventory plants and collect seeds from an on-campus remnant prairie as a living laboratory for biology research.

Virtual Reading by 2021-22 Walton Visiting Writer in Translation Kate Briggs

The U of A Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is proud to welcome translator Kate Briggs as its 2021-22 Walton Visiting Writer in Translation.

Schola Cantorum Takes "A Child's Christmas in Wales" on Tour for Three Performances Throughout Arkansas

The U of A Schola Cantorum returns to the stage with three performances of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" on Nov. 30, Dec. 2 and Dec. 4 in Hot Springs, Fayetteville and Batesville.

Casandra Cox to Present November Cordes Chair Seminar

Casandra Cox, instructor in the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology, will present "Teaching Authentically in an Age of Reality Superstars" from 2 - 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in Home Economics 108.

Call for Proposals: Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching

The Office of the Provost and the U of A Teaching Academy are pleased to issue the call for proposals for the 2022 Daniel E. Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching.

News Daily