Tonight was the final trial for Judge Stephen Hillman's Trial Advocacy class at Loyola Law School. The trial was a civil trial, where the plaintiff sued his public defender for legal malpractice due to an alleged lack of due care during the plaintiff's criminal trial for assault with a deadly weapon. Representing the plaintiff were Jonathan Starre, Katherine Coman, Stacey Toyoaki, Swathi Narra, Roger Steinbeck, and Brian Varghese. Representing the defendant were Michael Storti, Bruce Chang, Carlos Chait, Lilian Mazian, Katharine Goodenow, and David Yang.
The trial, including recess and jury deliberation, ran almost 4 hours. The facts leaned slightly in the plaintiff's favor, and the verdict tended to reflect that. On the issue of actual innocence of the plaintiff when he was a criminal defendant, the jury was unanimous that he had been actually innocent. On the issue of the performance of the defendant as the plaintiff's defense counsel in the criminal trial, the jury split, 4-2 in favor of the plaintiff. The outcome showed that both teams performed capably.
Before the jury returned its verdict, the future attorneys, and Judge Hillman, posed for a picture taken by one of the LLS students who participated as a witness in tonight's trial.