H.R. No. 2058

WHEREAS, Baylor Law School won first place at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, which was held in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7-10, 2005; and WHEREAS, The ATLA sponsors the annual nationwide mock trial competition in order to inspire excellence in trial advocacy by offering law students the opportunity to develop and practice advocacy skills before distinguished members of the bar and bench; open to law schools throughout the country, the competition involves civil cases that usually deal with product liability, personal injury, or medical malpractice and negligence issues; teams are judged on their skills in case preparation, opening statements, use of facts, the examination of lay and expert witnesses, and closing arguments; and WHEREAS, Competition began on the regional level in February when 223 teams from 138 law schools, including 16 teams from nine Texas law schools, vied for a spot in the national contest; and WHEREAS, The four members of the winning Baylor group are Paul Bailiff, a native of Houston and a May 2005 graduate currently practicing with an area law firm; Robert Little, Jr., from Sherman, who is in his final year of law school and is an alumnus of Baylor's political science program; Meredith Black-Matthews, a second-year law student from Dallas who also holds an undergraduate degree from Baylor; and Gabriel Head, another second-year law student and a graduate of Southwest Texas State University, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in history; and WHEREAS, The Baylor team benefited from the guidance of its head coach, Professor Jeremy Counseller, along with Professor Gerald Powell and recent graduate Eric Porterfield; Professor Counseller credited the victory to the students' long hours of preparation and their command of the law of evidence and procedure; and WHEREAS, Recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the sixth best advocacy program in the nation, Baylor Law School has enjoyed a tradition of success in the ATLA competition; in 2003 and 2004, Baylor students won third place, and teams from the Waco law school also won first and second places in the regional contest in 2004; and WHEREAS, With their hard work and determination, the members of the Baylor team have brought great credit to themselves and to their school, and this important national championship solidifies the institution's reputation as one of the preeminent law schools in the country; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 79th Texas Legislature hereby congratulate Baylor Law School for its first-place win at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's 2005 National Student Trial Advocacy Competition and extend to the mock trial team members sincere best wishes for success in all their future endeavors; and, be it further RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for the school as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives. Hughes Paxton ______________________________ Speaker of the House I certify that H.R. No. 2058 was adopted by the House on May 26, 2005, by a non-record vote. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House