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Mock Trial Team

Become Part of the Mock Trial Tradition

CourtroomBeing a member of the University of Dayton School of Law's Mock Trial Team is great preparation for becoming a trial lawyer. There is nothing comparable. You'll learn what it takes to build and present a case and gain the experience necessary to walk into any courtroom in the country with a confident step.

History of the Mock Trial Program

by Professor Dennis Turner

The date was February 5, 1978. The place was Case Western Law School in Cleveland Ohio which was hosting the Sixth Circuit Regional Round of the National Mock Trial Competition. The Competition is the most prestigious mock trial competition in the country with over 300 teams competing. The University Of Dayton School Of Law was the new kid in town. The School of Law had reopened in 1974, had graduated its first class since 1933, and had not previously sent a team to the competition. One of the teams UDSL entered into the competition was comprised of Dennis Lieberman, Michael O’Loughlin who were the in-court advocates, and Jim Todd, who somehow had acquired the moniker, “Disco Duck,” was the alternate. The teams’ commitment to the competition was so strong that they spent weeks preparing their cases and participating in the trials without receiving any academic credit. For them it was an extra-curricular activity, but it provided an opportunity for them to show the legal community that UDSL students could compete with the best advocates from older, more established law schools. The team advisor was Professor Dennis Turner.

When Professor Turner walked into the advisor’s meeting the atmosphere was like a Saloon out west in Tombstone. “Thar’s a stranger in town.” Some of the advisors may have been surprised that the University of Dayton even had a law school. During the pre-competition opening reception, the speculation around the bar was not about whether a Case Western mock trial team would place first in the regional round, that seemed to be a given, but whether the two Case Western teams would take first and second place. In the end, however, the competition turned out to be more like “Shootout at the O.K. Corral,” with “Wyatt” Lieberman and “Doc” O’Loughlin mowing down the opposition like shocks of wheat. Mike O’Loughlin was selected as best advocate in the competition. During the award ceremony there was a new phrase being whispered, “Who are those guys?”

Over the years UDSL Mock Trial teams have carried on the winning tradition begun by Dennis Lieberman and Michael O’Loughlin. UDSL teams advanced many times as winners of the regional competition and competed in the final round held in Texas, finishing as high as third in the country.

Support Mock Trial or Volunteer

The Mock Trial Team members are incredibly grateful for the support of the University of Dayton School of Law faculty and administration, as well as attorneys and judges within the local legal community. There are numerous ways to show support for the team through gifts, assistance and services, or volunteering. If you would like to learn more, please contact Lori Shaw Robol.


School of Law

Keller Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2760