Second in the World: Roman Trial Team takes on Empire

Coaches Steve Patton ‘08, John Pensabene, and Nicholas Guth ‘13, recruited eight guys across Roman’s extensive five team roster.

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Members of the Elite Empire Team Pose in the Courtyard of Catholic High.

Evan M. ' 18, Staff Writer

“They treated him, like an animal.”

Those were the words echoed in the final round by attorneys Josh Picciotti ‘18 and Nicholas Hamilton ‘19 in the opening and closing arguments of New York’s Federal Courthouse. It had been four days of practices and trials, placing the finishing touches on their cases-in- chief, but the Roman Trial team had once again made it to the final round of Empire: The World Championship. However, the work to achieve this position didn’t happen overnight. This work began before the year even began, in July 2017.

Coaches Steve Patton ‘08, John Pensabene, and Nicholas Guth ‘13, recruited eight guys across Roman’s extensive five team roster. These eight guys: Seniors Josh Picciotti, Justin Vespasiani, and Evan Meadows, Juniors Nicholas Torelli, Grant Zindel, and Nicholas Hamilton, and Sophomores Ryan Frank and Michael Caimi, worked from the first week of July, all the way to the final week before the tournament. They spent countless hours memorizing statements, examinations, and building characters for witnesses.

The case: a wrongful death by a private prison. The charges brought: prove that the prison caused this death. Each of our attorneys argued through trial after trial, witnesses giving a performance that made the jury laugh and cry, and going into the final, after battling South Korea, Canada, Oklahoma, and Georgia; Roman was going in 12-0 against a 12-0 American Heritage High School. Presided over by Federal Judge George B. Daniels, this would be the most difficult trial the team has faced.

Sadly, in the end, it came down to three ballots, and Roman Catholic took 2nd place out of thirty-six teams. Both attorney Josh Picciotti, and witness Michael Caimi received awards for each of their performances being 10th and 6th in the world, respectively. Now, with a new case from the Pennsylvania Bar, and our eight members spread across different teams, it’s only a matter of time until they are all once again in a courtroom together, this time as opponents.