UB Mock Trial Teams Wins Competition with Help from Erie County ADAs

Modified: November 1, 2018 8:56am

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Mock Trial WinTwo Erie County Assistant District Attorneys led University at Buffalo’s Trial Advocacy Program team to victory at a mock trial competition hosted by the Queens County District Attorney over the weekend.

Cathleen Roemer of the DA’s Special Victims Bureau and Rebecca Schnirel of the DA’s Domestic Violence Bureau, along with area defense attorneys Brian Melber and Farina Mendelson, coached the students to take on teams from top law schools.

ADA Rebecca Schnirel, who has coached the Trial Advocacy Program for the past four years, was a member of the team while studying law at UB. “It was hands down the best part of my law school experience and is the reason I am a prosecutor today,” said Schnirel. “I coach as a way to give back to the program and as a way to mentor soon-to-be lawyers. These students pour their souls into this program and there is nothing better than watching them succeed,” she continued.

“Trial team is the best practical education you can receive at law school,” said ADA Cathleen Roemer, a UB Law grad who has been a coach for the past five years. “I believe that volunteering our time and sharing our knowledge with law students is something that every practicing lawyer owes to the next generation of attorneys,” said Roemer.

The annual competition allows law students from around the country to try a felony case, under New York law, before sitting trial judges. Each team tried the case twice, once as prosecution and once as defense, on Saturday. The UB team was victorious in the final round on Sunday.

UB law student Sarah Elardo, who is currently serving her internship at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, was named “Best Advocate” in the competition.