Missouri Attorney General Presents Attorney General’s Cup to Winning Trial Team
- From left: Dave Fahrenkamp, Keenen Twymon,
Attorney General Chris Koster, Maebetty Kirby,
and Mark Rudder
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster recently presented the Missouri Attorney General’s Cup to second-year law students Keenen Twymon and Maebetty Kirby, who won the Fourth Missouri Attorney General’s Cup Trial Competition in Jefferson City. The winning team was coached by the Hon. David C. Mason, JD ’83, along with attorneys Dave Fahrenkamp, Jennifer Hofman, and Mark Rudder, JD ’91. Third-year law students Katie Coleman, Pallavi Garg, and Stanley Thompson helped the students in Jefferson City. Third-year law student Sarah Crites and second-year law student Randall Brachman also competed as a team.
The competition case involved a man charged with first-degree murder. The state contended that the man had shot and killed his wife’s lover when he found them together in her bed. The state’s intent was to prove that the man had access to the residence by use of a hidden key, that he left fingerprints at the scene, and that the actions of his wife and the victim drove him to commit the crime.
The defendant provided a statement denying that he committed the crime. He offered his own testimony and that of his mother and an airline attendant that he had flown out of town the day before the murder. He claimed he was hiking 400 miles away in a state park at the time of the crime. He also testified that it would have been illogical for him to murder the victim because he was the man’s employer. The victim’s death eliminated a good job for him.
“Maebetty and I advocated both for the state and the defense, depending on the round of the competition,” Twymon says. “The benefit of arguing both sides of a case is that it allows you to anticipate the other side’s case. Since you’re advocating for both sides, you have an idea of what the other side will argue, which keeps you one step ahead of the game. It forces you to look at the case in an entirely different light.”
Kirby notes that participating in trial competitions is a critical part of her legal education. “Most classes we take as law students teach you how to think like a lawyer but not how to actually practice law,” she says. “Being on the Trial Team gives us practical experience in the courtroom, and that’s very valuable for anyone who, like me, wants to be a trial attorney.”