Harrisburg Team Wins 20th Annual Hugh B. Pearce Trial Advocacy Competition
Web Editor - Published: April 9, 2009

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(Left to Right): Associate Professor J. Palmer Lockard II, Miranda Blazek (HB), Amir Raminpour (HB), and Harrisburg Dean of Students Ann Fruth.

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(Left to Right): Gwenn Miller (DE), R. Mark Taneyhill (DE), Honorable Gene E.K. Pratter, Miranda Blazek (HB), and Amir Raminpour (HB). 

"The tipping point for the defense was that you used the evidence more effectively to support your theme,” said the Honorable Gene E. K. Pratter, federal district court judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in declaring the Harrisburg team of Miranda Blazek and Amir Raminpour the winners of the 20th Annual Hugh B. Pearce Trial Advocacy Competition.

Before a sizable audience in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom, the Harrisburg team of Blazek and Raminpour represented the defendant, Anthony Daniels, against the State of NITA. The Delaware team of R. Mark Taneyhill and Gwenn Miller prosecuted on behalf of the state.  The prosecution tried to prove that the defendant, Anthony Daniels, murdered his boss and the lover of his estranged ex-wife Buffy Daniels on the night of March 22nd, 2008. Despite the prosecution’s attempts to prove that Anthony Daniels murdered his boss out of a sense of wounded pride, defense counsel skillfully provided reasonable doubt, in part by suggesting that Buffy Daniels was a “scorned woman” seeking revenge in the midst of a bitter divorce.

Upon returning from her deliberations, Judge Pratter offered both teams some general advice, but she was very complimentary of the work of each participant. She praised all of the participants for their extemporaneous speaking ability, and said that each of them offered “extremely relaxed, well-paced oral arguments.”

HughPearcePostPromo235Judge Jerry R. Parker of the Second District Court of Appeals in Tampa, Florida prepared the problem used for the competition, State of Nita v. Anthony Daniels, on behalf of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. Competition Chairpersons Elissa A. Greenberg of the Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society on the Delaware campus, and Ryan Wotus of the Harrisburg Trial Advocacy Honor Society performed the organizational work necessary to carry off the competition, with able assistance from Moe Levine Secretary Doris Zinck on the Delaware campus and Mary Lou Morin on the Harrisburg campus. Associate Professor J. Palmer Lockard II served as the faculty advisor for the Harrisburg Trial Advocacy Honor Scoiety and Professor John F. Nivala, Director of the The Taishoff Advocacy, Technology and Public Service Institute, and Associate Professor Jules Epstein served as the faculty advisors for the Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society.