A NEW York-based ‘super lawyer’ who is originally from Ballincollig, has praised the Legal Eagle team of students from Coláiste na Toirbhirte in Bandon who took part in the recent Empire Mock Trials Final in New York.
Domhnall O Cathain, a leading attorney with Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich & Triggs LLC, came on board to help the students before their Mock Trials to give them advice. He said he was blown away by their enthusiasm.
‘The girls were remarkable and greatly impressed the local lawyers and judges,’ said Domhnall speaking to The Southern Star. ‘Other than what is fed to us on TV by Hollywood, they had no experience of the American legal system or how to present a case in an American courtroom. But that didn’t stop them as they won the highest marks of all the non-American international competitors and that is some achievement.’
‘We later learned that the American teams had been prepared by law lecturers, so I have no doubt if it was a level playing field, the girls would have won the entire competition. They are a credit to themselves, their families, their school and the country,’ he said.
The 16 students did remarkably well and they were the best-placed international team beating Australia, UK, Canada, Korea and Hong Kong and they were one ballot away from being placed in the top ten.
But they had plenty to celebrate, as student Christina O’Donovan was one of four mock attorneys out of a total of 120 to be specially invited to compete in the ‘Gladiator One to One Mock Trial Competition’ in California next July.
‘It was the highlight of our careers seeing the judges praise the girls and we are also so proud of the team’s commitment and dedication over the last four months and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with them,’ said their teacher Siobhan Fitzgerald who, along with Lisa McCarthy, helped coach the students throughout the summer months.
‘We have to extend a huge thank you to Domhnall who has worked tirelessly with the girls since June, enabling them to reach a world-class standard.
He came to meet us for the very first time in New York and we owe a massive debt of gratitude to him. None of this would have been possible without him. We didn’t realise how famous he is until we got to New York.’
Both Siobhan and Lisa also want to thank the staff and students of Coláiste na Toirbhirte for all their support and as well as Ivan Archer who helped the students with the legal side of things and Rachel Walsh Murphy, who was drama coach for the students and responsible for their outstanding nominations and acting capabilities.