Haub Law team reaches semi-finals in American Association for Justice National Final Competition

April 26, 2022
AAJ 2022
Pictured: Michael McNally, Mike Luterzo, Esq., Regina Rubino, AJ Muller, Esq., Mattison Stewart, Kathryn Facelle, Angelo Spedafino.

Reigning National Finalists, Haub Law’s Trial Advocacy team was back at this year’s American Association for Justice (AAJ) National Final Competition for the second year in a row.  From April 8-10, 2022, Haub Law faced off against the top 20 Regional Winners from across the country. The Haub Law team, consisting of Mattison Stewart (3L), Regina Rubino (3L), Kathryn Facelle (2L), and Michael McNally (2L), along with their trial technician Angelo Spedafino (3L), and their coaches AJ Muller, Esq. and Mike Luterzo, Esq., were ranked as the first seed in the preliminary rounds of the national competition as they embarked on another run for the National Championship.

Ultimately, the Haub Law team advanced to the semi-finals, losing only to UCLA, the current and past champion, by a spilt decision with a tiebreaker deciding the round. The superstar team advanced to the National Finals after placing as Regional Champions just one month before out of a field of 160 competing teams from across the nation. This past fall, the team also advanced to the National Semi-Finals of the All-Star Bracket Challenge, placing in the Top 4 out of 64 of the nation’s top teams. Additionally, last spring, the team placed as National Finalists in the AAJ, ranking them 2nd out of 192 teams nationally.

“This is an outstanding group of dedicated and talented students.  The 3Ls on this team have been AAJ Regional Champions in back-to-back years, advancing the National Final round (2021) and Semi-Final Round (2022), solidifying Pace’s reputation among the top trial advocacy program in the country,” said head coach and mentor, Adjunct Professor AJ Muller, Esq. “Adding to that yet another national advancement and successes in the Fall’s All-Star competition, this team has brought Pace’s Advocacy Program unquestionable national recognition and respect. This team graduates, Ms. Rubino and Ms. Stewart, accompanied by our outstanding technician, Mr. Spedafino, have done more than just put-up high scores and win trophies, they have taken the time to develop the 2L’s to foster a sustainable future of excellence for the Advocacy Program.  This year’s victory was a true team effort with stellar performances all around. We expect to make another run at national victory next year with our outstanding 2L’s, Ms. Facelle and Mr. McNally, who will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Haub Law 3L, member of the winning mock trial team, and Executive Director Mattison Stewart stated, “I am so proud of our team that I have been fortunate enough to compete with. Every semester we put in countless hours practicing, scrimmaging, and meeting to perfect our sides of the case. We individually put in over 200 hours each because we all have a common goal: win. I have become a better student, advocate and person because of the Advocacy Program. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to be on competition teams since the beginning of my 2L year, no less make national runs for three semesters in a row. None of this would be possible without our coach AJ Muller, who truly puts in so much energy and time into making us better advocates, not only for mock trial but real life. Mike Luterzo has been an amazing addition to the coaching here too; his out-of-the-box thinking really helps us one-up the other teams. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my last two years doing anything besides putting everything I have into the Advocacy Program and this team.”

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law’s impressive trial advocacy program once again ranked in the top 15% of law schools, coming in at number 26 this year. Over the last few years, Haub Law has had 28+ Mock Trial and Moot Court Teams, with an average of over 124 student participants on these teams as a whole. The Law School’s Mock Trial and Moot Court teams regularly place at or near the top in competitions. In the fall of 2021, Haub Law hosted its first Advocate in Residence, Gillian More, a lifelong prosecutor with a worldwide reputation in advocacy. Haub Law’s trial advocacy program is led by Lou Fasulo, Director of Advocacy, Moot Court and Client Counseling programs.

“This result shows the quality of our students, the dedication of our coaches and the commitment of our program to remain a leader in training advocates for the benefit of future clients. I will be watching our graduates as they accomplish even greater successes in their career,” said Haub Law’s Director of Advocacy, Lou Fasulo.

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