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KNOXVILLE — A team of University of Tennessee law students has won the southern regional Trial

April Hart

Moot Court Competition, qualifying for the national finals to be held in March in Houston.

The UT team of April Hart, Ashley Jones and Hal Kirtley defeated teams representing 10 other law schools from North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee during the event held Feb. 14-15 at the Knoxville City-County Building.

Tennessee will go against 26 teams from 13 other regions at the national competition March 27-29.

Ashley Jones

Jones, from Brentwood, and Kirtley, from Campbellsville, Ky., are third-year law students. Hart, from Clinton, is a second-year student.

Knoxville criminal defense attorney Bruce Poston coached the team.

Tennessee defeated the University of Memphis and the University of Alabama in the opening rounds and the University of Mississippi in the finals. Students were judged on their trial skills in opening statements, direct and cross-examination, and final arguments in a

Hal Kirtley

mock felony murder trial.

UT also had a second team in the regional competition. Third-year students Elizabeth Dilbeck of Maynardville, Christina Elliott of Knoxville, and Ben Mallicote of Kingsport won a unanimous decision over Vanderbilt in the opening round before bowing to the Mississippi team which was defeated by the other Tennessee team in the finals.