VERMILLION, S.D. -- A team from the University of South Dakota School of Law won the “Most Professional Team Award” at the recent National Ethics Trial Competition, jointly sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Anthony M. Kennedy Inns of Court, and the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.
In two of the past three years the USD law team placed in the top five in professionalism and ethics at this elite national competition. However, this year, the team of Andy Fick of Quimby, Iowa; Ashlee Wendt of Alcester; Aron Hogden of Sioux Falls; and Tracye Sherrill of Yankton took things to the highest possible level.
Twenty law schools were invited to the competition including Georgetown University, Wisconsin, Colorado, American University, Loyola-Chicago, Catholic University, Fordham, and others.
“I believe that such a remarkable accomplishment is a testament to the professionalism and ethics of all of South Dakota's lawyers and our fine faculty and deans---all of whom set a daily example for our students of the professionalism and ethics demanded in today's legal world,” said Tom Horton, associate professor of law and Heidepriem Trial Advocacy Fellow. Horton directs the USD School of Law trial teams with help from Professor Mike McKey. USD trial teams entered 12 national competitions during the 2014-2015 academic year.
The National Ethics Trial Competition was established in 2006 to promote ethical and civility awareness through the mock trial competition format. It is the only law school-sponsored competition that features both an ethical component in the issues to be tried and scoring based on the participants' observation of ethical and civility principles. The competition is open to applications from all ABA-accredited law schools that have demonstrated excellence in the training of law students in ethical trial practice.