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Volunteers Needed to Judge AAJ’s Mock Trial Competition (STAC)


I have the honor this year of being appointed Regional Chair, for the New York Region, of the American Association for Justice’s Annual Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC).  I am pleased to invite you to serve as a Volunteer Juror, judging the students’ performance at a mock trial.  Each trial will consist of teams from 2 law schools, requires scoring judges (jurors) and a presiding judge who will run the trial and rule on objections.  Only real judges and experienced trial lawyers can be presiding judges.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with AAJ’s Student Trial Advocacy Competition (STAC), it is a national mock trial competition held every spring in 14 regional locations. Every year, over 150 law schools participate in making up 224 teams with 896 law students, all of whom become AAJ Law Student Members to compete. Over 1,200 lawyers from across the country volunteer to serve as competition judges and 30 AAJ members dedicate their time, energy, and expertise to help host these regional events. The New York City regional event will take place on March 1–3, 2019. The mock trials will take place in the Kings County State Supreme Court located at 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (parking in the judge’s lot will be on a first come/first served basis).

There will be 3 sessions of preliminary rounds, one session of semi-final rounds and one session of the final round.  Each preliminary round will consist of 8 trials (16 teams). Each trial requires three scoring judges, a bailiff, and a presiding judge.  So each of the preliminary round sessions require 40 lawyers and judges.

The first session will 4:00 PM. Friday afternoon, March 1, 2019, from 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  On Saturday and Sunday, March 2nd and 3rd there will be 12:30 PM sessions, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 12:30PM to 4:00PM.  Each session starts with a short orientation meeting on the main floor (second floor) followed by a three hour trial in a courtroom upstairs.

Please pick the session or sessions that are most convenient for you.  You may click on this link STAC ONLINE SIGN UP  to sign up and pick your sign-up, or you can print the form, fill it out, and fax or email it back to me.

The competition rounds are:

ROUND 1: Friday, March 1st, 4:30 PM-8: 00 PM (8 trials, 40 volunteers needed)

ROUND 2: Saturday, March 2nd, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM (8 trials, 40 volunteers needed)

ROUND 3: Saturday, March 2nd, 12:30 PM-4:00 PM (8 trials, 40 volunteers needed)

SEMI-FINAL ROUND: Sunday, March 3rd, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM (2 trials, 10 volunteers required)

FINAL ROUND: Sunday, March 3rd, 12:30 PM-4: 00 PM (1 trial, 5 volunteers needed)

This is a wonderful event, all of the students devote substantial time training to be good trial lawyers and spending your time in this endeavor will be very satisfying.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (212) 406-1600 or via email at .

Please feel free to share this invitation and the sign up form with your colleagues and friends, we always need additional volunteers, even non-lawyers.

I hope to see you all at the competition.

All the best,



Richard Gurfein, of Gurfein Douglas LLP, has been selected to the 2016 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate.

Members are thoroughly vetted by a research team, selected by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the incredible selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC. This elite class of advocates consists of the finest leaders of the legal profession from across the nation.


Mr. Gurfein, founding partner of Gurfein Douglas LLP, has been selected by our peers for inclusion in the 23rd Edition of Best Lawyers in America, 2017 for his work in

  • Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  • Product Liability Law – Plaintiffs.

This is the third year in a row Mr. Gurfein has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America.

Gurfein Captains NY’s Ryder Cup Team to Victory

Richard Gurfein, as Captain of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association’s Ryder Cup team, led his golfers to their first victory over New Jersey in four years.

Each year members of the New York Trial Lawyers and New Jersey Trial Lawyers (New Jersey Association for Justice) compete in a Ryder Cup style golf tournament.  It is a friendly competition between colleagues who come together for an enjoyable day on the golf course.

This friendly competition has a loving cup as its prize.  The team from New Jersey has won or held the cup for the first three years of the tournament.  But the fourth year was the charm.  On August 19, 2010 at the Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo, NY,  Gurfein’s New York squad took the cup away from New Jersey for the first time with a score of 13 1/2 to 10 1/2.  The cup will reside at the NYSTLA headquarters for the next twelve months to commemorate the win.

Richard Gurfein is past president of the NYS Trial Lawyers

Almost 40 years ago, Richard Gurfein made a career jump from teacher to lawyer, but he still hopes he can teach people a few things. Gurfein became president of theNew York State Trial Lawyers Associationin 1995 with hopes of improving the public’s image of lawyers.

But he also had hoped lawyers would do some things themselves to better their image, such as volunteering to help community organizations. “In part, what lawyers do is protect an important part of American democracy – our system of civil justice. We deal with people’s rights and how to protect them,” Gurfein said. “I think that it’s important to understand when advertisements and news stories talk about unusual lawsuits and verdicts, [they] are the exceptions that prove the rule.”

NYSTLA has a web site on the Internet for the public to learn about the civil justice system. The Web site address is “I think lawyers should be active members of the community,” he says. “We owe a debt to the community.”


Originally from Queens, Gurfein has lived with his wife, Erica, and their children on Long Island for 30 years. Gurfein got his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University and taught math at the Jane Addams Vocation High School for Girls in the South Bronx for four years. At the same time he went to Brooklyn Law School at night, and received a Juris Doctor degree in 1971. His law practice focuses on people seriouslyinjured through negligence, accidents, such as on construction sites and in automobiles, medical malpractice and defective products.


Gurfein is Board Certified by theNational Board of Trial Advocacyin Civil Trial Advocacy, he has chaired numerous committees of theNew York State Trial Lawyers Associationand theNassau County Bar Association.


Gurfein enjoys astronomy, astrophotography, amateur radio, photography, videography, golf and sailing.

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