Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition (ETAC)

April 6-7, 2019
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Please click here to register

The law firm of Estrella, LLC and The George Washington University Law School are pleased to announce the fifth annual Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition (ETAC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the 2018 competition was canceled due to the hurricanes’ impact on Puerto Rico. Now, as Puerto Rico rebuilds, ETAC rebuilds as well. In fact, if there were sufficient interest, ETAC would like to try to organize a pro bono activity for competitors and coaches to assist residents in the days before the competition.

Estrella, LLC is a full-service law firm with expertise in civil litigation. Accordingly, the competition uses a civil case. A sampling of past problems include: whether a store was negligent after an alleged mugging occurred in their parking lot, possible negligence of a company after alleged sexual harassment on a business trip, and whether a retailer is liable to an independent contractor for injuries caused by a competitor in an event organized by the retailer. Some years, the choice of calling two of three potential witnesses is provided to each team.

The competition is only open to 14 teams, and most years ETAC has been full with a wait list. The winning team is guaranteed a spot in the following year’s competition provided they timely register.

The 2017 winning team from George Washington University.

Key Dates:

December 3, 2018: Registration deadline (both form and fee by check must be received by this date, but teams have until the problem release to finalize members)

December 2018: Notification of Acceptance into competition (registration checks will be deposited)

January 2019: Team members finalized and problem release

April 6, 2019: Two preliminary rounds held traditionally at the Nazario Clemente Federal Courthouse in San Juan’s Hato Rey sector; Advancement Announcement Reception held traditionally at the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce.

April 7, 2019: Semi-final and final rounds held traditionally at the historic José V. Toledo Federal Courthouse in Old San Juan.


Each ABA-approved law school may register one team consisting of four JD students. Each student must play the role of an attorney on one side and a witness on the other. The registration fee is $450 per team. Only checks made payable to “The George Washington University Law School” can be accepted. Participating schools will be given access to a discounted block of hotel rooms, traditionally at the beautiful, seafront Caribe Hilton.


Recognition is given to the winning team and to the recipient of the William Estrella Award for Best Oral Advocate.  This award is presented in honor of Estrella LLC’s founder, William Estrella.