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Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition Award Winners Announced

Five law students received recognition and cash awards for their writing skills in the 7th Annual Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Student winners of the 2007 competition, announced February 1st, were:

  • 1st place – Victoria Torrilhon
  • 2nd place – Sarah Richelson
  • 3rd place – Raghu Nandan
  • Honorable Mention: Sara Birkemeier, Rebecca Stahl

Using a different approach than in previous years and following the Legal Writing Program’s ideals, students prepared written profiles which were judged for accuracy, brevity, clarity, and persuasiveness.  Professor Lee Tucker said, “’Dare to be Interesting’ is the motto of the Legal Writing Program, and the yearly Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition gives students a terrific opportunity to do just that.  Writing on a topical, law-related issue, students stretch their writing wings while competing for $4000 in cash prices.” 

Judges this year included Justice Michael D. Ryan, Arizona Supreme Court; Presiding Judge Jan Kearney, Pima County Superior Court; Frank Leto, Pima County Public Defender’s Office; Bonnie Henry, a columnist from the Arizona Daily Star, and Tim Eigo, Editor-in-Chief of Arizona Attorney magazine.

The competition is one of two annual events skills funded by plaintiffs’ lawyer Richard Grand.  The Richard Grand Damages Argument tests student skills in oral arguments and will be held later this spring.

Grand, a 1958 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, began his practice in Tucson as a deputy county attorney.  Since 1962, his practice has been limited to representing plaintiffs.  On 100+ occasions he has obtained either a verdict or settlement in excess of $1 million.

In 1972, he received a jury verdict of $3.5 million, at that time the largest in the United States for a single injury (Wry v. Dial, 18 Ariz. App. 503 (1972)).  Most recently, he and co-counsel Mike Meehan successfully settled a personal injury case with the City of Tucson for $1.25 million.

Grand is the Honorary President of The Richard Grand Society – “The Injury Lawyers Alliance” – a Society of preeminent personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers entitled to practice in the United Kingdom.  In 1972 he founded the Inner Circle of Advocates, which is limited to 100 U.S. lawyers who have completed at least 50 personal injury trials and have at least three verdicts in excess of $3 million for compensatory damages.  In 2002, the University of Arizona Alumni Association Board of Directors awarded him the University of Arizona’s Professional Achievement Award to Richard Grand.  He was only the twelfth person to receive this prestigious award.


Posted:02/27/2008