Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition (ETAC)

Competition Date: April 4-5, 2020
Location: 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 sixth annual Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition (ETAC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The devastation of Hurricane Maria precluded ETAC in 2018, however the competition made a spirited return in 2019 and is on track for an even more successful 2020!

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. Each ABA-approved law school may register one team consisting of four JD students and each student must play the role of an attorney on one side and a witness on the other. The winning team is guaranteed a spot in the following year’s competition, provided they timely register.

The 2019 winning team from The George Washington University Law School.

Key Dates:

December 2, 2019: 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 2019: Notification of Acceptance into competition (registration checks will be deposited)

January 2020: Team members finalized and problem release

April 4, 2020: Two preliminary rounds held traditionally at the Clemente Ruiz Nazario Clemente Federal Courthouse in San Juan’s Hato Rey sector.

April 5, 2020: 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 or two teams 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 $500 for one team or $900 for two. Payment can be made by credit card or check. Participating schools will be given access to a discounted block of hotel rooms at a beautiful, seafront hotel.


The winning team receives a plaque. Additionally, recognition is also given to the recipient of the William Estrella Award for Best Oral Advocate, in honor of Estrella LLC’s founder, William Estrella.