Bales Trial Competition



Congratulations to Phil Hernandez '16 and Alyssa Huff '16, the winners of the Bales Competition!  In the final round, Anvy Nguyen '16 and Lily Wang '16 represented the prosecution, and Phil and Alyssa represented the defense.  The problem, written by Collin Tierney '15, involved a gang-murder, unavailable witnesses, expert testimony, and a self-defense claim. 

Other standout teams included:

Prosecution 1st Runner-Up: Lindsay Walter and Carolyn Gilbert

Defense 1st Runner-Up: Nathaniel Miller and Lilian Fabela

Prosecution 2nd Runner-Up: Laura Smith and Jesus Garcia

Defense 2nd Runner-Up: Nahal Bahri and Siena Caruso

Prosecution 3rd Runner-Up: Caitlin York and Zarah Rahman

Defense 3rd Runner-Up: DeShon Jones and Daniel Osborn

Congratulations to everyone that competed: Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and courage.  This was an incredibly challenging case, so we are extremely impressed by what you all were able to do in such a short period of time.  It truly has been a pleasure working with all of you.

2014 Tournament Directors Jerel Dawson ('15) and Jordan Kahler ('15).

The Berkeley Law Bales Trial Competition is an internal trial advocacy competition sponsored by The Board of Advocates and the Bales Family Endowment. "Bales", as it is affectionately called, is an entry-level tournament designed to introduce students to trial advocacy and encourage them to consider joining the competitive trial program at Berkeley Law. It features approximately twenty teams of two students, divided amongst prosecutors and defense attorneys trying a fictional case.

     2014 Rules and Procedures
     2014 Fact Pattern
     2014 Exhibits

The Bales Trial Competition

In 2014 more than 50 students participated in the Bales Competition, where student advocates tried a murder case in two preliminary rounds over the course of two evenings. Current members of the Board of Advocates and local practitioners judge the participants.

The competition is open to all JD students interested in trial advocacy. Semi-final and final rounds will occur on the same date. The purpose of the trial competition is to allow 1Ls to experience trial work and consider trying out for an outside competition team. 2Ls and 3Ls not on competition teams are also invited to participate as a way to learn and practice trial skills and consider careers in trial advocacy. 2L and 3L students may not compete if they were involved with the Bales Competition in prior years. Furthermore, no participants may consult students who participated in previous competitions.

No previous trial experience is required. In the month before the trials, experienced practitioners will be giving trainings on effective direct examination, cross examination, and opening and closing statements. In addition, Board of Advocates members will offer a half-day "putting it all together" weekend workshop to assist in presentation and individual coaching. Teams are expected to practice on their own and be prepared to present a professional case on competition day. All teams will be presented feedback from judges. Those considering trying out for BOA's outside competition trial teams next year may "submit" their performance in the competition in lieu of a formal tryout in April.