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W&L Alums Win Award at Arkansas Law School

Two members of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2010 — Jon Brown and Donavon Sawyer — won the 2012 William H. Sutton Barristers’ Union Trial Competition at the University of Arkansas School of Law earlier this fall. Jon and Donavon are second-year law students there.

A total of 32 teams competed in the two-week, tournament-style event, which was open to all second- and third-year law students. The competition involved teams working with a previously drafted record, presenting an opening statement, examining and cross-examining witnesses and giving closing arguments in a mock trial setting.

The teams argued the fictional case of State of Lone Star v. Dennis Sloan. In the case, the State charged Sloan with filing a fraudulent insurance claim to obtain funds to avoid foreclosure on his house. Sloan contended that the theft associated with the claim was carried out by his former girlfriend’s brother.

The competition finals were judged by Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Jim Spears, Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Doug Schrantz and former Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Mary Ann Gunn.

The William H. Sutton Barristers’ Union Trial Competition is organized annually by the School of Law Board of Advocates, a student-run organization that oversees law school competitions.