After extensive preparation and three days of preliminary rounds, Nic Cordova (’18) and Morgan Pullam (’19) earned the judges’ verdict in the final round of the Carrigan Cup Trial Competition in Wittemyer Courtroom on September 25.
Each year, the Carrigan Cup introduces the competitive season for the University of Colorado Law School’s mock trial teams. The law school’s most prestigious in-house competition was established to honor the late Judge Jim R. Carrigan, whose service to the field of law, the people of Colorado, and Colorado Law resonate even today.
This year’s case, Ronald and Randi McGee, individually and as the personal representatives of the Estate of Rebecca McGee v. School Board of Dallas County, revolved around a wrongful death complaint filed against a school board by the parents of 12-year-old Rebecca McGee, who died in a car crash while walking home from an undesignated bus stop on the wrong side of the road from the usual stop. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy provided the case.
Pullam and Cordova argued as defendant’s attorneys, using an affirmative defense on behalf of the school board to demonstrate that the School Board of Dallas County should not be held responsible.
Judges for this year’s competition were The Honorable Christine M. Arguello, a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; Sheila P. Carrigan (’82), founding attorney of Carrigan Mediation & Law, LLC and daughter of Jim R. Carrigan; and Stanley L. Garnett (‘82), district attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District.
Arguello said that the final decision was a close call. Nevertheless, in the end, Pullam and Cordova came out ahead of their competitors Amanda Miller (’18) and Ethan Tackett (’19).
Carrigan said her father would be proud, and Garnett admired the poise and pacing of all the competitors, saying any one of them could start working in his office the next day.
“The thing that really helps for the actual trial from mock trial is being confident in the courtroom: really learning how to make purposeful movements, really project yourself, and have good presence. Preparation is key,” said Cordova, who is a two-time winner of the Carrigan Cup.
Cordova and Pullam said they were glad that their hard work paid off, and they encourage all individuals—from high school students to law students—try mock trial.
Pictured: Nic Cordova and Morgan Pullam (center) with their witnesses Perdeep Badhesha ('20), far left, and Andrew Jacobo ('20).