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’18 Grad Wins Elite Top Gun Mock Trial Competition

Jess Falkenstein and Professor Justin Bernstein with 2018 Top Gun Phil Pasquarello Jessica Falkenstein, Professor Justin Bernstein, Philip Pasquarello

June 04, 2018

Philip Pasquarello won Baylor Law School’s 2018 Top Gun Mock Trial Competition on June 3.

Pasquarello, who graduated in May, prevailed over a field of 16 competitors from other law schools known for their success in trial advocacy. The invitation-only event gives competitors just 24 hours to prepare, aided by one peer and one coach, for trials in which they go head-to-head with other advocates.

Pasquarello’s classmate and former Trial Team teammate, Jessica Falkenstein, ’18, served as second chair. Professor Justin Bernstein, the associate director of the law school’s Trial Advocacy program, served as coach.

“Phil was simply amazing,” Bernstein said. “This was a culmination of his years of hard work. I couldn’t be prouder of him or Jess, who gave Phil tremendous support throughout the tournament.”

The competition case involved a battle between two microbreweries over trade secrets, namely a recipe for cedar beer. Over the four preliminary trials, advocates represented both parties. In the final round, (viewable here), Pasquarello represented the defendant brewery accused of stealing a closely guarded family recipe.  

The competition also included teams from:

  • American University Washington College of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Loyola Law School Los Angeles
  • Maurice A. Deane School of Law Hofstra University
  • Samford University Cumberland School of Law
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Syracuse University College of Law
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • The University of Akron School of Law
  • University of California Berkeley Law
  • UC Hastings College of the Law
  • University of Georgia School of Law
  • University of Michigan Law School
  • Wake Forest University School of Law

Pasquarello previously won back-to-back victories in the prestigious Tournament of Champions, joining Falkenstein on a team that won in 2017. The pair were also on a team that won the Regional Texas Young Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition in 2018.