Modified: November 2, 2016 1:29pm
Two Erie County Assistant District Attorneys have earned bragging rights after leading to victory a mock trial team from the University at Buffalo Law School in a national competition held in New York City.
Matthew Powers from the DA’s Appeals Bureau and Cathleen Roemer who works in the DA’s Domestic Violence Bureau trained the UB students for the prestigious event where they placed first among 16 other teams from top law schools from around the country, including New York University and Boston College.
“It’s fun,” says Powers, who has been volunteering to coach the UB students for the mock trial competition for seven years now, including former student Roemer, who joined him as a coach this past semester.
“I’m the nerd,” says Powers. “I try to help them understand the rules of evidence and procedure and how to use them to their advantage.” Powers, ironically, doesn’t try cases because he has been arguing appeals for the District Attorney for the past nine years.
Roemer, who has been coaching mock trial teams for three years says, “When I went through the program, it was an amazing experience, and it helped me immensely. I like passing that onto the next generation of attorneys.”
I am very proud of my Assistant District Attorneys who are helping train future litigators,” says acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. “I commend Cathleen and Matthew for their commitment to this program that is now proudly ranked among the top in the country. My colleagues at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office also praised the performance of the UB students.”
The UB team included law students Adela Smehlik, Courtney Morphet, Victoria Karnisky and Kaylan Porter. They conducted four mock trials in two days.