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Episode

4

4. The Battle of the Experts

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Air date: 

June 21, 2022

Dawn breaks for the “Battle of the Experts.” In San Antonio, St. Mary’s team rookie Mariela Encinas prays for success at the Red Mass, the 13th-century Catholic ceremony that traditionally offers a blessing to the legal community for the upcoming court year. In South Dakota, the team gets stoked up on pasta and smoothies. Coach Rose makes it simple for her team, telling them “Blood makes the grass grow." Then, the judges call the trials to order, and it is on.

Learn more about the schools, programs and special guests:

St. Mary's University Law School

University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law

Elie Honig

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Up Against the Mob with Elie Honig

Archdiocese of San Antonio and the Red Mass | Twitter | Instagram

San Antonio Bar Association | Twitter | Instagram

Mexican American Bar Association | Twitter | Instagram

San Antonio Young Lawyers Association | Instagram

Goodfellas

Jason Goss, St. Mary's coach

Jennifer Maritza Perez-Stewart, St. Mary's coach

FRIDA Mexican Restaurant


Follow us on Twitter @ClassActionPod and Instagram @ClassActionPod

Visit our show page for transcripts and more details about the series at ClassActionPod.com

Follow host Katie Phang on Twitter @KatiePhang and Instagram @KatiePhang.


 

TRANSCRIPT


Katie Phang (narration): Class Action is a production of iHeartRadio and Sound Argument.

[church bells]

[Music: classical Spanish guitar]


Mariela Encinas:

I went to Catholic school my whole life. It's meaningful in the sense that I told Sister Grace a few days ago, that I wasn't quite sure why God brought me to St. Mary's. And this year has been very special in the sense that not only mock trial has showed me that that's why I'm here because of this team, this AJ and Coach Goss, they're all so phenomenal at what they do. But I definitely think it was God's way of bringing me back to my religion.

Mariela Encinas:

Hi, I'm Mariela Encinas. So I'm helping with the flowers. We just set up the masks. I set up the candles, the volunteer stuff. The judges will get robed and be ready. So we're just kind of preparing last minute things. This morning I was at work and I had to finish up numbering all the banners to make sure that they were all ready and just the finishing touches, that's about it.

So the Red Mass is an ancient tradition that started back in 1245 in Paris. And it basically marks the beginning of the academic and the judicial year. And it's a way for us to pray for the administration of justice that's going to occur in this next judicial year. Red Mass at St. Mary's is a huge deal.

Mariela Encinas:

You're going to get your banner. You're going to process in. Are you a representative?

Red Mass Coordinator

Candle guards Catholic Lawyers Guild of San Antonio, St. Mary's University Law Alumni, Hispanic Law, Roses in Memoriam.

Mariela Encinas:

So everybody in the legal organizations, the different courts in San Antonio and in Bexar County, they all come in with a banner. And so the San Antonio Bar, San Antonio Chapter of the Federal Bar, San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, San Antonio's Mexican Bar Association, each legal organization has their own representative. And that's been pretty neat to see how excited they are for Red Mass. We asked one of our deans to hold the mace in the beginning and she was like, "I've always wanted to do it. I'm so excited."

Kristen Cabrera: Right now, Red Mass has started. And the procession of the banners is happening.

(Singing – Catholic Mass choir, church hymn)

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller:

Clergy, President Mengler, Marianists, Sister Grace, thank you for making special this celebration of the Mass. As we pray to the Holy Spirit to make of all of us, all of us, servant leaders. The purpose of this Red Mass is clear enough. It invokes God's guidance and a strength during the court term to come. And our wearing of the liturgical red signifies the willingness to defend the truth inspired by the Holy Spirit and for the nation.

Also, human law may hopefully preserve us from anarchy. It is not enough to bind up our country's wounds and we know it. And not only the country, the state, our city.

(Singing – Catholic Mass choir, church hymn)

Katie Phang (narration):

Just a few weeks after the start of the fall semester, the first big national trial competition, The Battle of the Experts is about to get underway. I'm Katie Phang, and you're listening to another episode of Class Action, The Battle of the Experts, Episode Four.

With the COVID 19 Delta variant sweeping through college campuses, this will be a virtual competition. A quick summary. The case is, let's say, very similar to the murder depicted in the movie, Goodfellas.

Philip Pasquarello:

This case file is the prosecution of the Joe Pesci character, for all intents and purposes.

Katie Phang (narration):

So the fact pattern in this mock case, Billy Caffiero, a made member of the mafia is beaten in a Pennsylvania bar, and then later stabbed to death and buried. Prosecutors accused Joe Pesci, I mean, Tommy Santosuosso of murder, in the first degree.

Philip Pasquarello:

I am a huge mob movie, mob TV show fan. My name's Phil Pasquarello. I'm the tournament director for The Battle of the Experts. On the other side of the case, we've got the bartender who was in the bar that night and heard the insult. And we've got a mafia expert, who's going to say, "This murder just doesn't really add up as it relates to the rules of the mafia. It doesn't seem like the government story makes a whole lot of sense.”

It's the first tournament of the season. I wanted my school and this tournament to be opening day. I am really excited to be at the coaches' meeting with all the coaches and say, "Welcome to the 2021-2022 season."

All the directors and coaches and students are junkies for this. They love this stuff. These are the 16 teams, in no particular order: Baylor Law, Quinnipiac Law, Chicago Kent Law, Pace, American, Nova Southeastern, South Carolina, St. Mary's, Temple, South Dakota, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stetson, Pacific McGeorge, Cumberland and University of Illinois-Chicago John Marshall.

Andy Vizcarra:

Why are you looking at... What are you doing?

Jasmin Olguin:

Oh, I was seeing... Oh, were you asking me? I thought that was [crosstalk 00:06:39]-

Andy Vizcarra:

No, she was asking Houdini.

Jasmin Olguin:

That was everybody? And everybody was there.

Katie Phang (narration):

St. Mary's mock trial team is wide awake, over-caffeinated in fact. They're hunkered down at a hotel in San Antonio and are operating on very little sleep. Coach Jason Goss fills them in on what happened at the tournament's coaches' meeting last night.

Jason Goss:

Here's the deal, power pairing. So this is power paired every round, except for the first round. The first round was a challenge round, which we actually didn't get challenged, which you know what that means?

Jasmin Olguin:

They're scared of us.

Jason Goss:

Nobody wanted a piece of us.

Jasmin Olguin:

No, I'm just kidding.

Jason Goss:

[crosstalk 00:07:13] give us the opportunity to do it, nobody wanted it. So we ended up being just the last ones left and nobody challenged it, so...

Jasmin Olguin:

That's exciting.

Jason Goss:

That's cool, you know? That's cool, because you have like the UCLA's of the world and everybody else.

Katie Phang (narration):

UCLA, Temple, Baylor. Those are the perennial mock trial power houses. St. Mary's ranks near the middle of the pack. But this is a new season and upsets can happen. Trial team captain Andy Vizcarra and Jasmin Olguin are the team's top guns.

Andy Vizcarra:

There's a lot going on today. And we didn't have backdrops last year. And Cole and Maria are like brand spanking new to this. Jasmin's like freaking out,

Jasmin, I need you to get into defense mode like you did last night.

Jasmin Olguin:

For reals? No, Andy I'm here for you, because you're doing the most right now.

Andy Vizcarra:

Okay, it's fine. Which one is it? Why is no one answering my question?

Jasmin Olguin:

No, it's right here, Andy. 106.

Andy Vizcarra:

Okay.

Jasmin Olguin:

What team is 106?

Judge:

Outstanding. Oh wait, sorry, they sent me a script. I want to make sure I use their script.

Katie Phang (narration):

The judge is already logged in and waiting.

Judge:

I'm apparently supposed to say hi to everyone. We're waiting on a few people get started. I haven't heard from the defense yet.

Andy Vizcarra:

From the defense?

Andy Vizcarra:

Good morning, Your Honor, were you waiting on us?

Judge:

Yes.

Andy Vizcarra:

Your Honor, we are both here, we're ready to proceed.

[boxing bell ring]

Katie Phang (narration):

Round One, St. Mary's University versus the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Judge:

Everyone is here and we just received the message to get started. My name is... Or let's call the case in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Thomas Santosuosso. My name is Judge Mark Altman.

Anna Rose Velasco:

Good morning, Your Honor. My name is Anna Rose [Velasco 00:09:13]. And today, I'm here with my co-counsel.

Carol Fercoli:

Good morning, Your Honor. I am Carol [Fercoli 00:09:17], and we are representing the prosecution.

Judge Mark Alman:

Okay, Defense?

Andy Vizcarra:

Good morning, Your Honor, my name is Andy Vizcarra, and I, along with my co-counsel Ms. Jasmin Olguin, represent the defendant, Mr. Thomas Santosuosso in today's proceedings,

Katie Phang (narration):

Defending any homicide suspect is the top of the game in criminal law. It'll take years for Andy and Jasmin to gain enough experience to take on this kind of legal work in the real world, but you got ta start somewhere. And why not in mock trial? Andy comes out swinging in the pretrial, making sure the rights of Tommy Santosuosso are not trampled by an overzealous prosecutor.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, Your Honor. We previously stipulated that no nicknames will be used to describe any of the parties today. So no nicknames like Tommy Two Guns Santosuosso or Crazy Tommy.

Trial's like you're on fire. Everything around you is on fire. People are throwing fire at you, but our coaches teach us how to put those out.

And lastly, our motion would be to exclude Mr. Santosuosso's criminal record in today's proceedings, as they are past acts or wrongs. And it should be excluded in today's proceedings.

So like something's coming at you, you like move. That's coming at you, move. But it's all happening at the same time.

Judge:

I'm going to grant the motion in limine, if you can lay the proper predicate to get into that, and it's dealt with it but it's [inaudible], nor mention of his prior involvement [inaudible].

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, Your Honor.

So you kind of feel like you're in the matrix and it's really, really cool, once you get in it. At first, when they throw you in there, you're like, "I'm going to die. Everything is lit up and I'm going to a burn here." And then you kind of get taught how to like put out the flames, which is cool. Some people were like, "Ah, that sounds amazing. Adrenaline rush." Other people were like, "I'd like to be the administrative branch of this team that like just watches you people." And I was like, "Got it. That's okay. It's not for everyone."

Judge:

All right, Prosecution, why don’t you go ahead and start your opening.

Prosecution:

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a game or the mafia, it doesn’t matter if you’re [fade out]

Katie Phang (narration):

During the six-minute opening by the prosecution, Jasmin Olguin is taking notes and trying to get her mind right.

Jasmin Olguin:

First thing in the morning, I always do a prayer in the morning. I recently just lost a friend, best friend actually. And it was a really hard year for me. And I just really relied on my faith this past year. It's been difficult since school. Like my friend, he actually asked me, he was like, "Do you ever like have doubts of your faith and stuff?" And I was like, "No, like I have no doubts because some of the things that have happened to me, like when you're at the lowest, you're like, 'there's no coming up from this. Absolutely not.' And God is just there."

I've thought a lot about my faith recently too, because I don't want to just like be praying and saying the same things. I've been also trying to be more are like real every time I pray and really be thoughtful about what I'm saying, not just say the same "thank you for this, thank you for that” like I always do. Like I'm trying to be more like, "I'm thankful that I'm doing my dream job that I've always wanted." Like things like that.

Jasmin Olguin:

Yes, Your Honor may we proceed?

Judge:

You may.

Jasmin Olguin:

Some things are too good to be true. And today the Commonwealth has brought before you something that looks like a present, but after today's case, we will unwrap that box and remove the nice little bow on the top. And you will see that, that box is not a case. It's Nick Patrick, a liar, a drug dealer and a murderer.

It's a Tuesday afternoon on Pietro Lane, and as you're walking down the road, the smell of spaghetti is lingering in the air. And as you enter the first restaurant on your right, Tommy greets you. And Tommy walks you over to the booth. He takes your order and he goes to the kitchen.

He wants to make sure the chefs are following his mother's Sicilian recipes. Tommy, a few years ago opened his dream, authentic, Italian restaurant, Santosuosso.

But Santosuossos, it's more than just a restaurant. You also hear from Mack Ledesma. Mr. Ledesma is an expert in organized crime. He knows the way the mafia thinks. He knows the way the mafia works and he will walk you through how a few insults, a few jokes, that's not a reason to kill somebody, but money, drugs. That's more than enough. That all will link to Mr. Patrick.

Today, you will see that the forensics, the fingerprints, the DNA, and how it only links to one person, Mr. Patrick. The Commonwealth bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Santosuosso killed Mr. Caffiero, and they will not meet this burden today. We will ask that you return the only just verdict there is and find Mr. Santosuosso not guilty.

Katie Phang (narration):

And right on cue. The prosecution calls Nick Patrick, its star witness to the stand, for his direct examination. Witnesses on direct are nearly always played by students of the same team. This Nick Patrick is about to break the code of silence and rat out Tommy Santosuosso.

Competitor Prosecution:

What did you do next?

Nick Patrick:

Well, I took Billy with me outside to go have a smoke. We went outside, we walked up by the alley. We turned the corner and then there was Tommy right there in front of us.

Competitor Prosecution:

What did the defendant do then?

Nick Patrick:

He, he started beating the piss out of Billy, punching him, throwing him into the ground, kicking him. At one point he got on top of him and then grabbed his head, and was smashing it into the ground. Billy was bleeding real bad.

Competitor Prosecution:

And did you agree to help him get rid of the body?

Nick Patrick:

Well, yeah. What was I supposed to do?

Elie Honig:

Getting people to flip is really the name of the game when it comes to the mob. That is how you're going to make your big cases. I got pretty good at it. My name is Elie Honig. I spent 14 years as a prosecutor. Yes, they literally swear a blood oath when they become members of the mob. And they swear to Omerta, which is the Italian word for silence. That said, they will flip. If you charge them with murder, and they're looking at life behind bars, they'll flip.

If they've had a falling out with the family, if they've been, here's a term, shelved, meaning sort of suspended without pay, they'll flip. If they have a beef going with somebody else, another term there, a dispute, they will flip. So the biggest and best cases I made were based on cooperation, on flipping people and getting them to break through that code of silence, that code of loyalty. So the mob presence looms large at these cases and it really can either help or hurt the prosecution or the defense.

Judge:

It's your witness, counsel.

Andy Vizcarra:

Mr. Patrick, how old are your kids?

Nick Patrick:

Excuse me?

Andy Vizcarra:

Your kids, they're still young.

Nick Patrick:

Yes.

Andy Vizcarra:

And they've grown up in this world of the mafia that you-

Anna Rose Velasco:

Objection, Your Honor. Relevance.

Judge:

Yeah. I'd love to hear its relevance, too.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, Your Honor. This line of questioning, if we may be heard outside the presence of the jury.

Judge:

Sure.

Andy Vizcarra:

I normally don't back down from an objection, which is half the game in trial. Like you cannot be rattled, be argumentative because you know your client's going to jail, do it. And let them worry about it. If they're going to object or not, like just punch it.

This line of questioning is relevant as Mr. Patrick has a big deal to testify for the Commonwealth in today's case. Now, part of that deal is that he and his family get Witness Protection. They get relocated to a new place to start their life far away from the mafia. The relevance of this line of questioning is testing Mr. Patrick's motive to testify on the stand today and as such is testing his bias and his credibility, which always relevant.

Judge:

Is it true that Mr. Patrick is receiving Witness Protection for himself and his family?

Anna Rose Velasco:

He is, but I still wouldn't understand the age of his children having anything to do with this or anything along that lines,

Andy Vizcarra:

Your Honor, I can respond if you need me to.

Judge:

Sure.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, Your Honor. The point of the age of his children is just to show that Mr. Patrick still has young children and they've grown up in the world of the mafia. So part of this deal is that his young children no longer have to grow up in the world of the mafia. And it goes to his deal today to testify for the Commonwealth in exchange for that witness protection for him and his family. Again, Your Honor, it goes to his motive to testify on the stand, to his bias as a witness and his credibility, which is always relevant.

Anna Rose Velasco:

May I, respond Your Honor?

Judge:

It's a stretch, but I'm going to overrule the objection.

Andy Vizcarra:

The Commonwealth in their cooperation agreement with you offered you and your family Witness Protection.

Nick Patrick:

If I testify truthfully, correct.

Andy Vizcarra:

Now I want to talk to you about June 11th, 2019. Now you exited the bar with Billy Caffiero that night, right?

Nick Patrick:

Yes.

Andy Vizcarra:

And you went out into the alley?

Nick Patrick:

Yes, both me and Billy.

Andy Vizcarra:

And you loaded Mr. Caffiero's body into the trunk of your car?

Nick Patrick:

Correct.

Andy Vizcarra:

It was your car and not Mr. Santosuosso's, where Billy's bloody body was.

Nick Patrick:

Correct? It was wrapped, but yes.

Andy Vizcarra:

So part of your cooperation agreement with the Commonwealth is not that you were an accomplice to the murder of Billy Caffiero? Is that your testimony today?

Nick Patrick:

No, that's correct.

Andy Vizcarra:

And as an accomplice, you would agree with me that you were part of... [fade out]

[in cathedral during Red Mass]

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller:

It is not enough to be learned jurists and skilled practitioners. Your people need understanding and love. The wounds and the suffering is deep. What then does this demand of you? A return to the biblical vision of justice. Show us, show the people in society that there is some another way to serve. Your commitment to God's justice makes demands on you. It is not enough to be incorrupt, to go to your people with clean hands. Those hands must be outstretched.

Katie Phang (narration):

While the St. Mary's team is scoring points with the judges, up north the squad from the University of South Dakota is getting hyped.

[University of South Dakota team arrives for competition]

Laura Rose:

Thanks for getting here. I'm glad you're present and awake.

Bill Murray:

I made breakfast.

Laura Rose:

Did you have your nap?

Braedon Houdek:

This morning?

Laura Rose:

I'm sure you did.

Katie Phang (narration):

Okay. These are law students, not football players.

Laura Rose:

... Sure you did.

Bill Murray:

Well, I guess it's eight hours.

Laura Rose:

Okay. Do we need to make sure that you have a smoothie?

Braedon Houdek:

That'd be nice.

Laura Rose:

Here's the deal. As of 10:30, the moment you speak to another competitor, you can no longer talk to me until the round is concluded.

Katie Phang (narration):

For Coach Laura Rose, The Battle of the Experts is the first chance to finally get her team into the win column. Her school is ranked dead last among all of the tournament's competitors.

Laura Rose:

What I expect to happen this morning is for them to see a very intelligent, very well prepared and well coached Berkeley team. I think that the evidentiary arguments are going to be on point. If Baylie stays calm and remembers that she does actually know what she's talking about, we'll be fine.

You've got this. Baylie, stand firm on your knowledge, right? Stand firm on your preparation. Don't worry about the individual components of it right now. You know how to flow with this. Stressing yourself out isn't going to do you any favors. You're a monster.

Get in there and destroy people, guys. It's blood makes the grass grow, like I'm not kidding. It's time. You all have put in the work. You're ready for it. Everything else is just gravy, at this point. You guys are ready to go. Don't let the bells and whistles worry you. We're about to screw some people over big time.

Baylie Moravec:

It's just complete nerves and jitters for me, at least. I'm Baylie Moravec, and I am a third-year law student. Justin and I are arguing first today, and I think that we are so ready. We've got our case prepared, but these past couple of days it's been like just the most anticipation I think I've ever felt in law school.

[boxing ring bell]

Katie Phang (narration):

Round One, South Dakota versus UC Berkeley.

Judge:

All right. Everybody's here. We just received the message to get started. Let's call the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Thomas Santosuosso. All right. And defense counsel, would you like to make appearances for the record?

Baylie Moravec:

Yes. Good morning, Your Honor. My name is Baylie Moravec, along with my co-counsel.

[Laura and Paul watching the tournament]

Laura Rose:

Justin, turn your microphone on.

Justin Petereit:

My name is Justin Petereit, co-counsel for the defense.

Judge:

All right. Thank you. We will now hear [crosstalk 00:22:44]-

[Laura and Paul watching the tournament]

Laura Rose:

These children, I swear.

Paul Ebsen:

I don't know if you're more nervous or I'm more nervous.

Katie Phang (narration):

This is the first group of students to be trained in the "Laura Rose System." And they've been taught to be more assertive in pretrial motions, to not give away any advantage.

Competitor:

Okay. The Commonwealth has six to address. So first, Your Honor, we ask that all witnesses be constructively sworn in and sequestered, per rule 603.

Judge:

Is opposing counsel okay with that?

Laura Rose:

Baylie. Say no, come on, girl.

Baylie Moravec:

Your Honor, we were under the impression that all witnesses will be present for the testimony of other witnesses, especially for the experts.

Laura Rose:

There you go, good girl.

Baylie Moravec:

Your Honor. It stipulated to that, all witnesses will be present for other witnesses' testimony. So we ask that they all be present so therefore we disagree to sequestration.

Judge:

Okay. [crosstalk 00:23:34]-

Laura Rose:

They've already thrown them. They've already thrown them.

Judge:

Go ahead.

Baylie Moravec:

Burden of proof. Well, it's called proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And there are three things today that the Commonwealth must prove to you all beyond a reasonable doubt. First, they must prove to you that William Caffiero is dead.

Katie Phang (narration):

Over the next two hours, the South Dakota team does their level best to stick to the evidence and to avoid the histrionics usually associated with defense attorneys.

Baylie Moravec:

Second, they must prove to you that Thomas Santosuosso was the one who killed William Caffiero. And lastly, they must prove that Thomas Santosuosso acted with the intent to kill William Caffiero. As I just said, this is a case about opportunity, obvious misses and desired outcomes. And in order to show that today, the Commonwealth is going to present you with two witnesses. You're going to meet Sergeant Rauche. You see Sergeant Rauche is the over eager yet misguided investigator. And then you'll meet their star witness. [fade out]

Judge:

Cross examination?

Laura Rose:

Come on, Justin.

Justin Petereit:

Yes, Your Honor.

Laura Rose:

Do your s***. Do your s***.

Justin Petereit:

Ms. Patrick, you just testified on direct examination that Tommy Santosuosso was boosting trucks after Billy's incarceration.

Witness:

Yeah, yeah. That's true. I did.

Justin Petereit:

Ms. Patrick, can you...[fade out]

I think that most people can have a voice in the courtroom, they've just got to find what that is. I would say, I'm pretty direct. Like, I don't get very flowery. Like I know Rose, she likes the fairytale style themes for something and that's not me. It would sound goofy if I was talking about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. People would be like, "What's wrong with this guy?"

This wasn't the first time you attested to this?

Witness:

No, I think I said the same thing in the preliminary hearing. That's what I knew. That sounds right. To be honest with you, it was a long time ago.

Laura Rose:

There you go, Justin. There you go. F***, yes. So he just destroyed her credibility completely and totally. And now he gets into his planned questioning.

Justin Petereit:

Then Billy went away.

Laura Rose:

That was as soon as it could have been. God, that was good.

Witness:

Yeah, he went to jail.

Justin Petereit:

And after Billy went away...[fade out]

Katie Phang (narration):

South Dakota is up against a team with a much different style; more outgoing, more theatrical.

Competitor:

At the heart of this murder was membership, money and motive.

Laura Rose:

Oh, you're on paper still.

Competitor:

First membership [crosstalk 00:26:08]-

Laura Rose:

See her looking down? She's got notes somewhere.

Competitor:

Billy Caffieri made a mockery of the defendant.

Laura Rose:

This staged s***, it's like... This drives me nuts.

Competitor:

A defense witness who you'll hear from today, they were kept close, given my [crosstalk 00:26:24]-

Laura Rose:

Excuse me?

Competitor:

... all in the hopes of producing loyalty to the [Battalia's 00:26:30].

Laura Rose:

This theater stuff that you see leaking in, it gets attention, but it's not litigating. It's not being a lawyer.

Competitor:

We just stood there for a few seconds. [fade out]

Katie Phang:

Then I just heard some criticism in your voice about the theatricality that seems to be, it sounds like, maybe more infused these days in terms of the mock trial competitions. I teach my students that trial is theater. I teach my students that jurors and even judges are looking for some level of having their attention captured through the theatrics of what that trial is, and what the facts are, et cetera. Am I wrong in that regard?

Laura Rose:

No, I don't think it's wrong to say that we steal from the art form of theater all the time as trial lawyers, you have to, in order to present, in order to when to use the softer tone of your voice, to really in an opening statement get the members of the jury to have that moment where all of a sudden their empathy is engaged and they're listening to you at a different level.

I teach all of those tricks, too. But what I come back to at the end of the day is, juries want that theater, but juries are roving bands of 12-year-old girls. And what I mean by that is they will spot the fake person like that. And when they spot the fake person they're done with you, it doesn't matter how compelling you are. It doesn't matter how great of an orator you are. If they think that you're fake and full of it, they're not going to reward you at the end of the day because they're going to feel lied to.

But it's not about making them an into an actor, it's about teaching them the tricks from acting and teaching them the tricks from theater, in order to do the presentation in the most authentic way that they can. Because at the end of the day, that's what juries end up rewarding.

Katie Phang:

But you and I both know anybody can be an advocate, but not everybody can be a trial lawyer. Are you thinking about how they're going to end up as lawyers and whether or not, they're going to be competitive trial lawyers and really be able to make a mark that way?

Laura Rose:

I am much more concerned with building competitive lawyers than I am with building competitive trial teamers. You get four competitions. If you're lucky, right? You get four times to compete at a mock trial competition in law school, maybe six, if you really push it at some schools, right? If you do three a year. You have the rest of your professional career that you're going to go out and be representing people. And so I'm much more concerned with making good attorneys.

Katie Phang (narration):

Back in San Antonio, the pace of the trial is heating up.

Competitor:

So let me get this straight. You heard the defendant say in three separate statements that he was going to kill Billy, correct?

Mariela Encinas:

Correct.

Katie Phang (narration):

The rookie, Mariela Encinas, is thrown into the fire as a witness and in another room, her teammates are listening, ready to bail her out.

Competitor:

So as we sit here today, you have absolutely no idea about anything Tommy did after he left the bar, correct?

Mariela Encinas:

No.

Competitor:

You agree it's possible, he never left at all?

Mariela Encinas:

I mean, it could be possible. Yes. I saw him leave the bar with his wife. So that's [crosstalk 00:29:45]-

Competitor:

And you didn't see him again that night?

Mariela Encinas:

No, I didn't.

Competitor:

Because the only way you would know if he had come back that night is if he had physically reentered the bamboo lounge, correct?

Mariela Encinas:

Yes. When I actually was closing up, I was able to see a little bit outside and that was the extent to what I could see outside.

Competitor:

So as we sit here today, you have absolutely no idea about anything Tommy did after he left the bar, correct?

Mariela Encinas:

No.

Jasmin Olguin:

Objection, Your Honor, asked and answered.

Judge:

Response?

Competitor:

We have no further questions, Your Honor.

Katie Phang (narration):

When the experts are called, the trial moves into open warfare with lawyers trying to crush the credibility of the other side's witness.

Cole Davila:

Hello. My name is Mack Ledesma.

Katie Phang (narration):

This Mack Ledesma is portrayed by St. Mary's’ Cole Davila.

Competitor:

Has been hired 18 times before to do this, correct?

Cole Davila:

Yes.

Competitor:

So 17 out of the 18 times that your business has been hired to consult, it's been hired by mobsters, correct?

Cole Davila:

It's been hired by alleged mobsters, and their defense counsel.

Competitor:

You did not speak with Nick Patrick?

Cole Davila:

No.

Anna Rose Velasco:

Now you believe Nick's statements to the police were truthful, correct?

Andy Vizcarra:

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. So you believe [crosstalk 00:31:14]-

Objection, Your Honor, if I may.

Judge:

Yeah. I've got to say that dog don't hunt. Objection is sustained.

Katie Phang (narration):

Sometimes all of this high-speed action results in a misfire.

Competitor:

So you [inaudible 00:31:25]-

Jasmin Olguin:

Objection, Your Honor.

Judge:

Sorry, did I hear an objection?

Jasmin Olguin:

Yes, Your Honor. Objection to the Commonwealth saying that my client got an attorney.

Judge:

What's your objection?

Jasmin Olguin:

My objection is withdrawn.

Judge:

Okay. So overruled.

Katie Phang (narration):

But the mark of a sharp attorney is a quick recovery.

Jasmin Olguin:

Let's talk about your investigation on Billy's murder. You collected evidence in this case.

Witness:

Yes we did.

Jasmin Olguin:

And one of the evidence that you collected was the interview of Mr. Patrick, the written report.

Witness:

Yes, we interviewed Mr. Patrick.

Jasmin Olguin:

But we don't have that audio of the interview today.

Witness:

No.

Jasmin Olguin:

We don't have it because your police department lost it.

Witness:

Yeah. I'm not sure what happened...

Katie Phang (narration):

As the trial heads to break, Andy Vizcarra, the team captain, checks in with her co-counsel.

Jasmin Olguin:

Dude, I forgot my last block.

Andy Vizcarra:

I know. I know.

Jasmin Olguin:

Was it that bad?

Andy Vizcarra:

Yeah. You don't go off screen. I mean, it's not that bad. The cross was good, but like be confident in yourself. Like you knew that, you walked over, stopped for like two minutes to ask one question.

Jasmin Olguin:

I know. I just couldn't remember my question.

Andy Vizcarra:

It's okay. If you don't remember, end it on that. It's okay. Like you clearly were going off screen.

Jasmin Olguin:

Did I fail?

Andy Vizcarra:

No, you didn't fail. It was a good cross.

Jasmin Olguin:

Are you sure?

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes. I'm sure. But be confident in yourself. Like, you know this material,

Jasmin Olguin:

I just like blanked.

Andy Vizcarra:

I know.

Jasmin Olguin:

I could not remember my [inaudible 00:33:09] law.

Andy Vizcarra:

Just take a breath and just take a moment. Like you're okay. Everything's okay. Like it was a really good cross. We got everything we needed.

Jasmin Olguin:

I know.

Andy Vizcarra:

It's fine. We're fine.

Jasmin Olguin:

Just promise I didn't let you down.

Andy Vizcarra:

No, you didn't let me down.

You can't dwell on it for too long, because we have a job to do. And it's like, you can't sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Like just keep going. Like you have to keep going and you have to remember that confidence is half of the game.

Jasmin Olguin:

Was it?

Andy Vizcarra:

Jas, because you're not being... You don't believe in yourself. And like, I can't do it for you. Like sometimes you get down and you let it go into you. And then you're like, and you hesitate. And the next question is the right question. Like you know this stuff and I'm just like, "Like you got it."

Jasmin Olguin:

Yeah. I appreciate that.

Andy Vizcarra:

Like just hit it, use sarcasm. Like all of your questions are your questions, but like your tone of voice and how you're asking them are going to convey more than what you're actually saying.

Jasmin Olguin:

You're right. I have confidence issues, but that's okay. That's great.

Andy Vizcarra:

We all got confidence issues.

Jasmin Olguin:

[crosstalk 00:34:19].

Andy Vizcarra:

We all got confidence issues. You ready for this redirect?

Jasmin Olguin:

Yeah. [inaudible 00:34:27] okay.

Andy Vizcarra:

Okay, put the phone down. You're not crying. You're fine. Lawyers don't cry. Let's go.

Jasmin Olguin:

They don't?

Andy Vizcarra:

I need you to hype up.

Jasmin Olguin:

No, we got this. Let's do this.

Andy Vizcarra:

Okay. We got everything.

Jasmin Olguin:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:34:37]-

Andy Vizcarra:

This close is about to be on fire.

Jasmin Olguin:

This is the easy part.

Andy Vizcarra:

This is the easy part, so get out there and-

Jasmin Olguin:

You practiced?

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, let's go.

[competition continues]

Judge:

Okay. Is our teams back? If I can get all the attorneys to pop on the screen for just a second.

Justin Petereit:

Your Honor, counsel, members of the jury. Earlier today, my co-counsel, Baylie Moravec told us this case would come down to an opportunity, obvious misses and a desired outcome.

Katie Phang (narration):

The teams are ready for closing arguments and the pressure is on to impress the judges one last time. In South Dakota, that job falls to Justin.

Justin Petereit:

And now the Commonwealth comes before us today and asks you to give them their desired outcome, an outcome that they haven't quite earned. Then we also heard from the defense's expert, Mr. Mack Ledesma. Ledesma, who spent years in the FBI, has investigated many organized criminals pointed out a few things that didn't make sense.

The few things that didn't make sense, like the circumstances and suspects that were never investigated. Let's talk about some of those circumstances. The first one being...[mouse and computer key clicks]

Laura Rose:

He can't get the technology to work.

Justin Petereit:

The timing of the death.

Laura Rose:

There we go. There we go, Justin. There's my boy.

Justin Petereit:

... was extremely close to the timing of the release from prison.

Laura Rose:

There's my guy.

Justin Petereit:

For potential violations of the mafia that could have led to a sanctioned killing.

Laura Rose:

Nice cover.

Justin Petereit:

A sanctioned killing is when the blessing comes down...[fade out]

Katie Phang (narration):

In San Antonio, it's Andy's turn to close out the case.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, Your Honor, may we proceed?

Judge:

You may.

Andy Vizcarra:

Some things are too good to be true. But the Commonwealth thinks they have their slam dunk conviction, why does anything else matter? It matters because they have the wrong guy. It matters because the real killer is sitting in the wrong chair. It matters because in the United States of America, no one is above the law and no one is beneath it either.

It means that no matter who you are, president, priest, prostitute, or even former mafia member, the law protects, you until the Commonwealth, until the state can prove otherwise.

Mr. Patrick thinks that because he delivered this perfect present of a case to you today, no one will look too hard at him. Pay attention to the red flashing lights pulsing in front of you. There is more evidence in this case that Nick Patrick-

Judge:

Defense counsel, you've run out of time.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, Your Honor.

Judge:

Any rebuttal to this case?

Competitor:

Yes, Your Honor. Brief rebuttal. Members of the jury, the defense...[fade out]

[Jasmin and Andy later in room together]

Andy Vizcarra:

I could have cut it. I could have cut it.

Jasmin Olguin:

I'm sorry.

Andy Vizcarra:

That was supposed to be a perfect close.

Jasmin Olguin:

I should just put it...

Judge:

I believe my ballot has been perfect for everything submitted.

Jasmin Olguin:

That was really good though.

Andy Vizcarra:

It wasn't perfect.

Katie Phang (narration):

After the end of the round, the presiding judge and the jurors tally up their points. They mark a range of scores for the quality of the openings and the closings, as well as the effectiveness of the direct and cross examinations.

Bailiff:

Judges could just drop an acknowledgement in the chat or give me a shout. Let me know when their ballot has been submitted. I can confirm with the back office that it has been received.

Paul Ebsen:

How do you feel?

Laura Rose:

I feel good. There are parts of it that could have been smoother. There are parts of it where they could have argued a little bit more, but they used their time judiciously. They pointed out the things that they needed to point out. I would've liked Justin to point out the impeachments that we got in the close a little bit more, but I think he attacked the credibility of the witnesses just fine. In particular, since he had that moment.

Judge:

We all had to do our comments, let's just prepare. Judges, let's just go in alphabetical order.

Judge 2:

As for the defense, I would say that the cadence of the closing made it difficult to follow what was, and what was not important within your arguments. Aside from that, like I said before, good job.

Laura Rose:

There was a tone of voice critique. Justin's going to be so mad.

Judge 3:

Both teams did well, but I would caution the prosecution to be less theatrical. And for the defense, I would say pick your energy up a little bit more, especially if you get stuck. At a point, it seemed like at some points, both sides may have been doing some reading, which is okay in my view, because you don't have to memorize every single fact of your case in order to be effective.

[USD team gathers after tournament]

Laura Rose:

Yes, sir. You okay?

Justin Petereit:

I'm fine. I just lost all my s***. I couldn't find myself. Like with my PowerPoint.

Laura Rose:

Yeah.

Justin Petereit:

So I was trying to find it and just lost it.

Laura Rose:

That's okay.

Justin Petereit:

That's kind of what happened there in that f***ing terrible close.

Laura Rose:

But it wasn't a terrible close. It wasn't a terrible close. Justin, you did exactly what you needed to do. You walked me through the elements. You walked them through where they didn't have proof. You did exactly what I would've wanted you to do.

Justin Petereit:

I know, it's so-

Laura Rose:

You nailed it.

Justin Petereit:

It's like that, that should have been ten times better than it was, but...

Laura Rose:

Yeah, but you were going up against the world's most boring, over theatrical, like non-existent real-world team ever.

Justin Petereit:

That's true.

Laura Rose:

Like that got me.

Justin Petereit:

[inaudible 00:40:16].

Laura Rose:

You did exactly what nobody wanted you to do. Stop beating yourself up and stop Monday morning quarterbacking it, you handled that round expertly, Justin, you really did. But you got to shake it off. Shake off the shake off the bad vibes, because I'm telling you, you handled that. The fact that, that closer was as scripted as he was and was reading as much as he was...

I'm not meaning this as any kind of insult to Berkeley, because that's a way that they can choose to coach. But this stuff drives me nuts. I can't stand pre-planned gestures where it's been clear that they've been told what mark to hit with it. And they were clearly reading both their opening and their closing. And their opening was long as hell. It was like 10 minutes long. It was ridiculous.

Your theory is way better on the state case. That's the stuff that we discarded about a month ago, now at this point was what they went with. You guys are better prepared. You just have to stay focused.

Katie Phang (narration):

In San Antonio. The mood is tense as they wait for comments.

Andy Vizcarra:

This Wi-Fi better start working before I throw a tantrum.

Judge:

Hey guys, I'm going to keep my comments as short as possible. No matter how much I love the sound of my own voice because I know you all are probably as hungry as I am. But in all seriousness guys, look, here's the deal.

If I were to have done all the motions in limine what you all did to push this way today, I would've been shouted out of the courtroom. If you were going to file, request a motion in limine, you better make sure it matters. You better make sure it's not a complete waste of everyone's time. And if you violate your own motion, you're through. You have to be able to adjust. And I mean, to be honest, the running out of time part is actually a far less of a concern for me than that.

Judge 2:

I'm going to sort of piggyback on that comment. To me, this felt pretty sloppy for a trial at this level, going over time, not listening to the rulings on motions and objections, not having a backup plan if you lose on a particular line of questioning and just sort of like dropping it. And I just feel like at this level, you got to look at the score sheet and you got to see what we're evaluating you on. This is an overall performance kind of competition, overall performance kind of score sheet. There's no part on the score sheet for me to give you bonus points for making motions in limine and objections that didn't advance your case in the end.

Jasmin Olguin:

They thought we were sloppy.

Andy Vizcarra: How were we sloppy?

Jasmin Olguin:

I don't know. I thought you did good. Maybe it was me on my cross. Okay. I'm really sorry about the running out of time.

Andy Vizcarra:

No, it's fine.

Jasmin Olguin:

No, it's not fine. I let you down, I'm sorry.

Andy Vizcarra:

Ugh. [sigh]

Katie Phang (narration):

After one long day of competition, the St. Mary's team, despite the harsh comments from the judges beat the University of Illinois at Chicago. They lost their next trial to Chicago-Kent. The team piles into Andy's car, trying to clear their heads.

Andy Vizcarra:

(singing)

Kristin Cabrera:

And why do you have a quinceañera dress in your back?

Andy Vizcarra:

Because my sister had her quinceañera recently and I've been trying to get this to the dry cleaners, but I've been forgetting because I'm running around like a crazy person, Kristin.

Mariela Encinas:

I wonder what judge it was that complained. If it was like our main judge.

Jasmin Olguin:

No, the quote.

Cole Davila:

The judge.

Andy Vizcarra:

Okay. I don't talk about that anymore. I'm done. [crosstalk 00:43:48], I'm going to be pissed if this one guy carried his role, like is that a joke? Like? Yeah, he was good. He was also reading. Everyone needs to calm down. [sigh]

Jasmin Olguin:

It's heartbreaking. We worked so hard for this, and-

Mariela Encinas:

Well, we still got two rounds.

Andy Vizcarra:

I mean, we got two rounds, right?

Mariela Encinas:

Yeah, [crosstalk 00:44:08].

Andy Vizcarra:

Like today's rounds were like, they're okay. Definitely could do better tomorrow. Like, and your opening was so good, like I'm just like, I don't know. We do need to hit it harder. I just don't know how else to...

Jasmin Olguin:

I'm going to cut my cross with [Rauche 00:44:22]. I'm only going to, I'm going to make it tight, like that guy today.

Mariela Encinas:

Maybe you just need to be like, was there fingerprints? No? All right, cool. Next.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yeah.

Mariela Encinas:

On the night, was there anything [crosstalk 00:44:33]-

Andy Vizcarra:

Keep going, just keep going.

Jasmin Olguin:

Just do those blocks.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yeah.

Mariela Encinas:

You should just be like-

Jasmin Olguin:

I'm going to just cut out the investigation block, the beginning.

Mariela Encinas:

The rest of the blocks are tight.

Andy Vizcarra:

Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

Mariela Encinas:

You're right. We know what we need to do. It's going to be good.

Andy Vizcarra:

I hope my kids never see my trials.

Mariela Encinas:

Why?

Andy Vizcarra:

Because they'd be like, "What are you doing?"

Mariela Encinas:

Taking your bag in?

Andy Vizcarra:

Yes, please.

Katie Phang (narration):

South Dakota is also one and one. They lost to UC Berkeley, but Coach Rose doesn't tell her team it scores during the tournament. We spilled the beans to Baylie after the competition.

Baylie Moravec:

I haven't even seen the scorecards. So did they beat us in both of those rounds?

Katie Phang:

Sorry, but yeah, they did.

Baylie Moravec:

You're kidding. Oh, that is such a bummer and kind of funny that they won. I remember the acting that came from it. It just seemed fake. And then there was a lot of smiling, which I didn't understand. Because it was a murder trial. I remember being shocked during it and just being like, "What are we going up against right now?" I think they were polished. I'll give them that. Like they knew their facts. They knew the fact pattern. It was polished. You could tell they prepared, but they didn't prepare in the way that South Dakota had prepared. So it shocks me that they won.

Katie Phang (narration):

But then they rallied and beat the highly ranked University of South Carolina team.

[Round 3 of competition]

Braedon Houdek:

You didn't include a lot of the evidence that corroborates Nick Patrick's story.

Witness:

Right.

Braedon Houdek:

Because you didn't include the defendant sell phone record.

Witness:

No, I did not.

Braedon Houdek:

You didn't include anything about the autopsy report?

Witness:

No, I didn't.

[USD team gathers after Round 3]

Laura Rose:

Did that feel better? Did everybody feel a little better now? Right?

Baylie Moravec:

That was so good.

Laura Rose:

Here's the difference. You feel better this afternoon because you chased down the tracks when they left them, chased down trackable. You guys were nervous about that because of time this morning, don't worry about that tomorrow. You know your arguments, you know your positions, you know where you're going to go. You all handled that and you ate the puppies without embarrassing them so badly that they felt like they were shamed. That closing, sir.

Braedon Houdek:

It was good.

Laura Rose:

Hot damn, hot damn. Braedon, you did that first part of the close in nine minutes. Just so you know you know. You all are great. I'm super-duper proud of today. You should be super-duper proud of today. You sir, that witness, "Would it refresh your recollection if I pointed you right to it." And then she took forever and you're like, "I'll do it for you." I was like, "Bill. Yes. Like all day long, twice on Sunday." Everybody had moments of real advocacy brilliance today.

Baylie Moravec:

So I called my parents between rounds. So right after I argued. They've gotten very invested in this. They obviously know about the case. So they know that it was a murder trial. And then I made the joke to Rose yesterday. I was like, "Well, I want to send my parents a link, but I don't think they know how to change their name on Zoom." So I'm going to have to teach them how to do that.

Bill Murray:

So my wife looks at it as a student organization and she does not understand why there's a podcast following us for our student organization. She doesn't understand why there's a camera set up for a student organization. She doesn't understand why we have to compete in competitions for a student organization. She just compares it to like the nursing club in undergrad. She's like, I was in whatever club in undergrad, and we never had to do any of that. Why are you doing all this? This takes up so much time. You don't need to be doing that.

Laura Rose:

Breathe, go home rest. We're going to try our case tomorrow. We're going to handle our shit. We're going to do the same thing all over again. Okay? Breathe in, go forth. Do good things. Any questions that you need to ask me?

Justin Petereit:

Do we know who we got tomorrow?

Laura Rose:

I don't know yet. It'll be a while before they announce. And as soon as I have the pairing, you'll have the pairing.

[competition resumes]

Bill Murray:

He looks to the trunk, they count one, two, three. The trunk pops open and the spotlight of the trunk shines on the victim of this case, Mr. William Caffiero, sprawled out, bruised, swollen, limp, and using what little life he has left to plead for help.

Katie Phang (narration):

Day two was a letdown for South Dakota. They lost a battle against Cumberland. Again, news to Baylie.

Baylie Moravec:

After the round, Justin and I went into one of the study rooms at school and he goes, "God, that was brutal." And I was like, "Bill and Braedon just slammed them." And it was impeaching. It was correcting them on the record. It was all of this stuff and yeah. Wow. That's all I have to say.

Katie Phang (narration):

And then exhaustion creeped in. And they lost to top ranked Baylor.

Judge:

Good luck in next rounds, everybody. Good luck everybody.

Baylie Moravec:

You know, it was just tears because you put in so much work, you have your school's name behind you, representing them. So it was almost worse than a sport's loss. And it was worse because there were definitely rounds that we should not have lost that we did lose, and that doesn't necessarily happen in sports. So that was very, very, very tough. And to just kind of feel like we didn't do enough or like we've disappointed USD and I know that, that is not the case. There's just stuff you can't control, but you do take it personally. And I definitely did.

Jasmin Olguin:

Well. We're going to have to know who we go against. Cause we're going to have to email them.

Andy Vizcarra:

Why are you still harping on that? Jasmin wants to know who we're going to go against. And I'm like I'd just rather not know because it doesn't matter.

Cole Davila:

I don't think [crosstalk 00:50:32].

Jasmin Olguin:

I just want to know if we're going prosecution or defense first.

Andy Vizcarra:

Oh, well yeah. I want to know that too, but Jasmin's out here like trying to scout people.

Jasmin Olguin:

Well, I don't know anything except UCLA and Baylor, but still.

Katie Phang (narration):

At St. Mary's the unforced errors continue for Jason Goss' team. He and his wife Maritza can only watch and shake their heads.

[Jason and Maritza watching competition via Zoom]

Jason Goss:

Isn't it weird? So, Andy got a 10, a nine and a six on her closing. It's every... But every round, she's-

Maritza Stewart:

A 10, a nine and a six?

Jason Goss:

Every round she's had somebody give her a six.

Maritza Stewart:

What did Jasmin get on her opening?

Jason Goss:

She got an eight, a five and a nine. And the five-

Maritza Stewart:

So weird.

Jason Goss:

... came from the same person who gave Andy a six. So that, is a judge that just did not-

Maritza Stewart:

Like us.

Jason Goss:

... from the beginning. From the beginning.

Katie Phang (narration):

Head coach, AJ Bellido de Luna, has been following the tournament all weekend.

[AJ calls Jason Goss]

AJ Bellido de Luna:

So what do you think is going on?

Jason Goss:

I don't know. I don't know. I think that they were rattled from the beginning.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

So you think they're rattled by the judge?

Jason Goss:

Probably. I mean, the judge won't even listen to them now, honestly. She just doesn’t trust us.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

Yeah. So she-

Jason Goss:

That's their bad.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

And that's going to affect the jury.

Jason Goss:

That's right.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

Yeah. And I just don't understand that though, because we don't practice that way. So why are they... Why is this happening now?

Jason Goss:

I don't know.

Katie Phang:

St. Mary's is trounced by Temple University and completely run out of gas against Pace University in New York. The St. Mary's team piles into a car and heads to FRIDA, a restaurant owned by Andy's parents.

Andy Vizcarra:

Cole, you might want to sit on either side, so that Coach Stewart and Coach Goss can sit in here, and then AJ can have a seat if he wants to come.

Do you want to start serving drinks?

Jasmin Olguin:

Oh, no, yes.

Andy Vizcarra:

Yeah. Can I get a tamarind margarita?

Mariela Encinas:

That actually sounds really good.

Jasmin Olguin:

What are you getting? What are you getting?

Mariela Encinas:

Margarita tamarindo.

Andy Vizcarra:

I think overall I'm proud of us. I think if we don't break because substantially, substantively, we were there, but also like we gave it our all and we have to learn from our procedural mistakes next time. And it's okay. This is our... This is the very first one.

Mariela Encinas:

I think I lucked out. I was really stressing playing Nick Patrick, just this whole weekend. And luckily in both teams where I played Nick Patrick. They didn't go hard, nearly as hard as I feel like we went after Patrick.

Andy Vizcarra:

We crossed.

Mariela Encinas:

And so I feel like they really prepared me for what was to come. So yeah, I mean, that was my take from today. I can breathe a little easier for now.

Cole Davila:

On the one hand, happy that we made it through another day. Also very tired, I want to recover, but you know, we did so much work for two months, very, very late nights. I want to advance, even though it's going to be exhausting the next day. So we could say, you know, it was well worth it, but at the same time, even if we don't break, it was a great experience for my first outing for law school.

Katie Phang (narration):

AJ stops by just in time to hear the announcement about which teams will move on. It's called making the break.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

Hi. How are you?

Server:

Good evening, how are you doing?

AJ Bellido de Luna:

I'm well, how are you?

Server:

I'm great. Thank you, so much.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

Can I get an old fashioned, please? That'd be great. Thank you.

Philip Pasquarello [via Zoom]:

Everyone.

Announcer:

Recording in progress.

Philip Pasquarello:

Welcome everyone to the 2021 Battle of the Experts awards ceremony. So I'm really pleased to announce that our first presiding judge, outstanding presiding judge award goes to Jason Goss.

Team:

Yay! [applause]

AJ Bellido de Luna:

It's a nice picture of you, too.

Andy Vizcarra:

Ooh, look, he drew a picture.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

Look at that picture. How old are you now?

Philip Pasquarello:

I'm going to start with our number one seed and make my way down to number four seed. The fourth team that's advancing to the semi finals. I'll start with our one seed. This team was the only team to finish [crosstalk 00:55:00]-

Jason Goss:

Four and 12.

Philip Pasquarello:

... rounds undefeated 12.

Jason Goss:

Four and 12. That’s UCLA.

Philip Pasquarello:

[crosstalk 00:55:04], they won 11 of their 12 ballots. So they were undisputed number one, after our preliminary [inaudible 00:55:12], the only undefeated team, our defending champion, UCLA.

The next semifinal team or second seed, returning to the playoffs for the second straight year-

Andy Vizcarra:

Temple?

Philip Pasquarello:

[inaudible 00:55:21]. Congratulations.

Andy Vizcarra:

Oh, to the playoffs.

Philip Pasquarello:

And our last [crosstalk 00:55:26] who made it into playoffs this year, by the skin of her teeth with a point differential plus 14 and three wins, eight ballots. The bears from Baylor. Congratulations, Baylor.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

Okay. All right. It's disappointing. I know you all work hard. You all worked real hard. You all work great. But here's the deal, we're proud of you. We see the work that you put in. And these things happen.

Jason Goss:

It's just logistics.

Maritza Stewart:

So we keep going. You pick up your chin and we fight another day. We're proud of you.

AJ Bellido de Luna:

This feeling that you all have. I mean, you can see it, right? You're wearing it. You're wearing your feeling on your sleeves, right? You could see it. This is something that you can use a strength. You were not beaten this weekend. It was unforced errors. So the question is, how do you take this feeling and turn it into strength? How do you take this feeling and say, "No, we're not going to do that again. We're better than that. Our coaches believe in us. We are better than that. How can we do this differently, next time?" We believe in you and you're going to represent us in Best in Texas, the four of you. Mariela, you are going to be an advocate. So all four of you, you're going to be a team. You're going to be an advocate and you're going to show what we already know.

Mrs. Rosa Vizcarra:

It's okay.

Andy Vizcarra:

Fine.

Kristen Cabrera:

Hi, how are you doing?

Mrs. Rosa Vizcarra:

I'm good. How are you all doing?

Andy Vizcarra:

Good.

Kristen Cabrera:

Nice to see you again.

Andy Vizcarra:

I just told them that we didn't break into the semis, so.

Mrs. Rosa Vizcarra:

It's okay. It's okay.

Katie Phang (narration):

This is Andy's mom and dad.

Mrs. Rosa Vizcarra:

The only thing else in life. Another step.

Kristen Cabrera:

But you got to see her. You got to see it. How was that?

Mrs. Rosa Vizcarra:

Oh yeah. It's very impressive what they do, honest. But yeah, it's very impressive to know. And it's very impressive what she can do. It's awesome. The whole experience is a price.

Mr. Elizandro Vizcarra:

[Spanish 00:57:40].

Andy Vizcarra:

Yeah, I mean, it's kind of disappointing in the sense that I did have a lot to prove. Yeah, we'll get them next time, but hopefully I can eat now. So I'm going to go order some food.

Mrs. Rosa Vizcarra:

Go eat.

[Red Mass in cathedral continues]

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller:

Our people are crying for quality of love in law, in the exercise of your powerful profession.

[music, classical Spanish guitar]

Katie Phang (narration):

The trial season, real and mock, is underway. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges from around the country are struggling with the weighty issues surrounding the administration of justice. The Red Mass dates back to the Magna Carta and the advent of jury trials. Our system is not perfect, but hopefully these young attorneys can make a bit of difference.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller:

Inspire them with your integrity, give them what any man or woman can claim from the law, but give them even more. More, for your salvation and theirs, give them yourselves. Act toward them as God has act toward you. Who knows, you just might transform Texas into the kingdom of God. The father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Church attendees:

Amen. Glorifying the Lord by your lives.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller:

Thanks be to God.

Adria Kimbrough:

I always remind them, “This is what it’s doing to be, guys. This is it. You, at least, have the community of being with people who have similar experiences. You will be the only one.” Every place that I have ever practiced, have been the only one.

Ole Miss competition announcer:

On the Defense side, DeAndre Bell. Also with 19 ranks on the Prosecution side, from Team Insidious, Dillard University, Amaya Ronczyk. And finally we had a perfect scoring attorney on the Defense side, Dillard B, Lajeanne Shelton. [cheers, screams of joy, applause]

Katie Phang (narration):

That's next time on Class Action.

Class Action is a production of Sound Argument and iHeartRadio. Created, produced, written and edited by Kevin Huffman and Lisa Gray.

Sound design, editing and mixing by Lisa Gray, Evan Tyor and Taylor Chicoine

This episode had additional field production by Kristen Cabrera, Alfredo de la Garza, Paul Ebsen and Malia Lukomski.

Executive producers are Taylor Chicoine and Katrina Norvell.

For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your favorite shows.