Texas Tech Law Team Wins National Arbitration Championship

Written by Sherrel Jones

Texas Tech University’s School of Law has won its fifth national arbitration championship.

The team won the national competition Jan. 23 by defeating 14 other teams from law schools across the country, including last year’s national champions from Chapman University School of Law on their home turf in Orange County, Calif.

The Texas Tech team of Sam Ackles from Dallas, Courtney Stamper from Houston, Matt Butler from Waco and Paul Miller from Round Rock was coached by adjunct professors Murray Hensley and Shery Kime-Goodwin.

“The four team members had not only the desire to win a championship,” Kime-Goodwin said, “but the willingness to truly make sacrifices when it came down to working for a championship.  They spent countless hours practicing and fine tuning not only their abilities, but also the actual content of their arguments. Even with all that hard work, in the end, these four individuals were simply able to out-attorney all of the other teams they went up against.”

The American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Arbitration Forum sponsor the annual event. According to the ABA, the purpose of the competition is to promote greater knowledge in arbitration by simulating a realistic arbitration hearing. Essentially, students from accredited law schools participate by preparing and presenting an arbitration case, including opening statements, witness examinations, exhibit introductions, evidentiary presentations and summations.

Kime-Goodwin said it was a difficult year for the team due to an unexpected illness to Hensley.

“When our team learned of Murray’s situation, instead of letting it detract from what we needed to do,” Kime-Goodwin said, “we decided to rise to the occasion. I think it further increased the students’ individual focus on the objective of winning the competition.”  

Hensley has coached mock trial and arbitration teams at Texas Tech for more than 25 years. Kime-Goodwin has coached the arbitration team with Hensley for the past two years.

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CONTACT: Casey Carson, director of alumni relations,Texas Tech University School of Law, (806) 742-3990 ext. 315, or casey.carson@ttu.edu.