Criminal Trial Advocacy

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Criminal Trial Advocacy (CTA) is a class taught at Duke East terms one and two as well as at Rice University during 2018 terms one and two. It is most always taught by a Don Donelson, and has had multiple different TAs in its history. Students in CTA learn about different aspects of the law, and the knowledge they gain proves beneficial in the final project, a mock trial. Many jokes can be made based on the knowledge gained in this class.

See also: The Sexiest Junior Paralegals on Legs

Class of 2010 Term II

The class of 2010 Term Two is specifically notable, not only for their generally brilliant lip sync performance (which will be explained later), but also for the general amount of inside jokes that only tipsters that were involved in the class would understand.

Fourth Years- Stephen Kline, Michael Nirenberg (Sex on Legs), Alex (SASHA) Richard

Third Years- Emily Smid, Corrinne Crowley, Katelyn B, Alexis Jones, Valerie Davis,

Second Years- Bill Cho, Peter Kim, Jakob (Ya-khob) Thorn, Odemi Pessu, Colin McGinnis, Chandler Evans, Emma Starr, Jackie Keaton, Thomas Gonzenbach, Emily Wechsler

CTA final project at the Duke West Mock Trial Court Room

Class of 2011 Term I

Fourth Years- Kate Westman Arthur Rizavi Emily Barbee Jacob Graff

Third Years- Jack Warman (Beanstalk) Richard Hays (Rollie Pollie) Mandy Baur (Stephanie) Joella Lee (Lilo) Elliot Polur Andrew Thompson Austin Hattori

Second Years- Parker Johnson (Dudley) Geeta Minocha Manaahil Rao Nishant Upender Patrick Wu


Wendy and Friends: Parker, Jack, Richard. Indecisive: Kate Westman, Joella, Patrick, Jacob, Elliot The Breakfast Club: Manaahil, Mandy, Emily, Andrew, The Pizzles: Austin, Marissa, Nishant, Arthur, Geeta


“Peter, if you bring a cell phone into that courthouse, I WILL FRISK YOU!”- Chandler

“Once my dad threatened to buy a leopard print thong, just so he could jump out in it and scare people.”- Thomas

Jackie- (being a police officer)“Sir, do you know how fast you were going?” Steve-(pretending to be drunk)“I don’t know, warp three, maybe warp five…”

“Debbie’s a waffle”- Don

“Sassy boots”- Valerie

Emma- “In your affidavit you claim that “you twist the facts” or “will do anything” to make a sale. Is this true?” Jackie- “Yes, it’s my job as a car dealer. You’re a lawyer. Isn’t it your job too?”

“I’m in Steve’s pants!”- Odemi (borrowing Steve’s sweatpants)

“WWRPD- what would a reasonable person do?”- Debbie

“*waking up* ….Is it time to play Frisbee?”- Thomas

“Don’t get smart with the law or the law will get smart with you.”- Debbie

“I’m Debbie’s favorite- it’s been confirmed!”- Michael

“Say we shoot Stephen in the… (x8000)”- Debbie

“In New York, protect your daughters, not your purses.”- Don

The Italian CTA mafia (which of course dines in Olive Garden) Colin= Don Michael= assassin Jackie= Head Bitch Emma= treasurer/ accountant

Inside Jokes

Michael with bucket (Double Meaning)- Meaning 1- Bucket was a rubber ball that was printed to look like a penguin, which happened to be the mascot of Emmanuel’s RAG. Each member of the RAG took it to class at some point during the term. On Michael’s days, he brought Bucket to the classroom, where Bucket may or may not have been regularly abducted by classmates.

Meaning 2-Bucket was the Vermonster bucket that Michael and friends had when they completed their Vermonster. Michael carried it around with him like a pet. He also wore it on his head like a hat sometimes.

Michael and Colin’s “conversations” from across the room- Non-verbal communication is a time tested method for communicating with people who are deaf, mute, or in situations where talking is not permitted. In this case, yelling across the classroom was highly frowned upon. So Colin and Michael made faces and hand gestures at each other from across the room attempting to communicate. No one really knows if it was successful since no one had any idea what they were trying to say.

Thomas’ wearing of a strapless dress to play ultimate Frisbee- WASW is an honored tradition to be upheld, as is Frisbee. So on that fateful 2nd Wednesday of TIP, it makes perfect sense to combine the 2. The Frisbee playing guys saw no reason to take off the skirts and dresses they had donned for the day, so they didn’t take them off. Which meant that when it was Frisbee time, the Frisbee had to be played in their girly attire. This wasn’t a problem for most of them. Except Thomas. Because Thomas was wearing Emma’s strapless dress stuffed with some socks (which does not substitute well for having actual boobs to hold up a dress) Jackie had to “fix his boobs” all day long while he wasn’t running around, so just imagine how ill-suited that dress was to physical activity. Basically, very ill-suited. His dress was slipping and sliding all over the place while he played Frisbee and it was just a tad over exposing.

Psychology people telling us to shut up- Duke psychology department is mean (at least when overly intelligent teenagers make a lot of noise in the hallways where they work day in and day out for 3 weeks during the summer…) I think they're just mean.

Steve-o- The mascot of team $WAGG. A bunny wielding a chainsaw named Steve-o after the Team $WAGG member Steve. Steve-o’s apprentice/ understudy Amateur Steve-o was also beloved.

Airhorn used to wake people up- When you have teenage boys waking up at 7 in the morning, you’re bound to get a few of them falling asleep in class. Steve was of course the most common dozer. And on those times when Steve fell asleep in class, Don took his Droid phone and the Air horn app he had and would blast the air horn in Steve’s ear. It was quite the effective wake-up call.

Class in Pegram Dorm- Instead of having class in the classroom like a normal class, we sat in the common room of Pegram (the TA and Instructors dorm) with the AC and really comfy couches. Which of course caused Steve to fall asleep more often than usual.

Debbie’s hypothetical situations- funny situations used to demonstrate the extent of laws (often times ridiculous and humorous). For example: Mike Tyson has a knife and is in a room with you with no windows and no doors. He wants to cut your hands off. You have a gun with one bullet. Can you shoot him and use the excuse of self-defense? Where do you shoot him? Yes, you can shoot him anywhere. The best place to shoot him: in the groin.

iBurgle- Burgle is in fact a word- meaning to burglarize someplace. (Burglary is defined as breaking and entering the dwelling of another at night with the intention of committing a felony therein) This was the original design for our t-shirts. A burglar with a bag thrown over his shoulder tip-toeing around with an iPod in. but since that couldn’t be done in time, it didn’t happen.

Jeopardy games- played for team points. Team $WAGG was doing amazing and was in a huge lead until Steve bet all our points and lost them

The class visit to the courthouse and wake forest- we went to the Durham Courthouse and watched sentencing trials (real ones) which were pretty intense. One of them had a woman with her crazy looking psychiatrist claiming she had multiple personalities. It was interesting to say the least. Jackie started crying during the trials because she was the sentenced convict waving goodbye to his mother, girlfriend, and son. But she cries very easily and it was an emotional moment so no one should have gotten on her case.

Don, Steve, and Jakob’s Lip Sync Performance! To the song “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga Don wore the green wig, Jakob in Yellow and Steve in Pink. They wore a collaboration of clothing and makeup from Emma, Jackie, and Debbie, who were in charge of clothes, hair and makeup. This lip sync performance was their punishment for accidentally locking themselves out of the classroom by not propping the door open. Jackie and Emma choreographed their dance with the help of dance friend Saara. Jackie made their props of giant playing card with a Lady Gaga emblem on them and she did a very good job. Their performance was a crowd favorite, except they were not eligible to place because they had an employee (instructor Don) performing with them. But they won 1st in the hearts of TIPsters.

The official class shirt was blue with “ Basically…” written in white on the front and “don’t be a creeper” written in white on the back with the campus, term, year, and class info. The quote “Basically don’t be a creeper” was said by Jakob when referring to Don’s explanation on where to stand during direct-ex vs. cross-ex in relation to the jury. Because an attorney does not want to come off as a creeper to the jury. Jakob had an undeniable obsession with creeping, being a creeper, and making creeper-like faces since he had never heard the term creeper before coming to TIP.

Class of 2011 Term II

The only Fourth year- Stephanie!

Third years- Justin, Bryan(subway sarah), Madison, Jennifer P, Rachel

Second years- David, Josh, Anina, Talisa, Soomin, Catherine, Elizabeth, Michael, Jennifer T, Yuyeong, Abby, Ashwini


Asian Persuasion: Ashwini, Rachel, Justin, Yuyeong

Malum Insane: Abby, Bryan, Jennifer T, Stephanie

Fuzzy Lightning: Michael, Soomin, Talisa, J

Inside Jokes

Michael had that one day where he argued with Don about privacy. Which is how the Hellen keller issue came up.

Wear a skirt Wednesday was the same day as our oral arguments... as if anyone could be taken seriously.

Oh, this isn't a joke, but we did manage to make Don cry with that... card.

  • btw, Don could Dougie. Like.. crazy..

The Anthem

we will we will sue you we will we will sue you young man convicted of crime one day gotta put him to jail goatta make him pay blood on his face, easy case got his DNA all over the place say we will we will sue you, SUE YOU CTA CTA CTA CTA

Class of 2012 Term I

Fourth Years - Ricardo, Thomas, Chica, Marisa, Sarah, Maggie

Third Years - Hise, Virginia, Dani, Molly, Koueun, Katie

Second Years - Alex, Nicole, Will, Nico, Joe, Andrew, Alie


The Breakfast Dinosaurs - Andrew, Joe, Sarah, Katie, Virginia

WhamR - Will, Hise, Alie, Marisa, Ricardo

Skittles - Maggie, Dani, Molly, Nicole

Indecisive - Thomas, Chica, Koueun, Nico, Alex

Inside Jokes

If a mall cop ever touches me, I will own that mall

Class of 2012 Term II

Fourth years - Maria LaBella, Laura Eckman, Oliver Zou, Savannah Seiler, Summer Sterling

Third years - Jesse Woodhull, Kevin Oh, Katy Hanna, Sidney Cobb, Daniel Ren, Eddie Moran, Nat Huffman, Rachel Pomerantz

Second years - Kaitlin Dippolito, Lauren Allen, Angelina Brookins, Charlotte Folinus, Riley Knight


The Flying Squirrels: Laura, Oliver, Kevin, Riley, and Rachel

Red Fire: Maria, Charlotte, Nat, and Eddie

The Dream Team: Savannah, Jesse, Kaitlin, Angelina, and Daniel

Fantastic 4: Summer, Sidney, Katy, and Lauren

Inside Jokes

The Relevance Box

Throwing Chalk

"I don't know. I'm not a law enforcement officer..."

How many Miami shirts does Don have?

Being shot with a banana

"But you have cookie, so share it maybe"

"How many doors does a Maserati Quattroporte have?"

Getting arrested for your own law

(and many more...) (to people from our class: ADD STUFF)

Class of 2013 Term I

Fourth Years: Megan, George, Priya

Third Years: Liam, Nico, Cynthia, Lauren, Mitch, Ben, Ryan, Elizabeth

Second Years: Eric, Sunny, Ali, Jake, Kartik, Mitch

TA: Anand (Almond)


The Sexybacks

Megan, Eric, Liam, and Sunny


4-Chainzzzz (Winning team)

Elizabeth, Nico, George, Ali


The Big 4

Mitch, Ryan, Kartik, Cynthia


The Red Team

Priya, Jake, Lauren, Ben


Inside Jokes

-The picture... "Molly fell asleep"

-The chairs bounce if you shift your weight on the back of them.

-It's not what but who.


-"Calm as a cucumber... I mean, cool as a cucumber. Well, I guess cucumbers could be calm too."

Class of 2013 Term II

Fourth years: Nicholai, Simran, Baasit, William, Hailey, Lawrence, Bridget, Hoon

Third years: Harris, Erica, Tommy

Second years: Divya, Andrew, Hannah, Sarah, Rhian, Patricia, Kyle

TA: Benjamin (Benji)



(winning team: 26,000 someting points)Nicholai, Andrew, Hannah, Erica, Harris

Frolicking Seals United (FSU)

Baasit, Tommy, Divya, Bridget, Hoon


Sarah, Hailey, William, Simran


(pronounced as a grunting noise)Lawrence, Kyle, Rhian, Patricia

Inside jokes

(coming soon)

Class of 2014 Term 1

Fourth Years: Parker, Saahil, and David (God)

Third Years: Karin, Rebecca, Chandan, Jack, Jared, Sage

Second Years: Aniketh, Mark, Faith, Mikayla, Kaleigh, , Haylee, Daniel, Evan

TA David (Boris)


Miranda Pandas (Final Total = 0)

David (God), Jack, Daniel, Evan, Sage

Indecisive (Final Total = 0)

Parker, Kaleigh, Aniketh, Mikayla

Beyoncé (Final Total = 0)

Karin, Haylee, Netra, Mark

Capones: this team won almost every Jeopardy game, and was the only team smart enough not to place in all points for the final Jeopardy (Final Total = 5,100)

Saahil, Jared, Rebecca, Chandan, Faith

Quotes/Inside Jokes

"It's just a damn line" -...

"I'm not in the Russian Mafia" -David

"Quick, tell me where the giant gaping hole in my thing is" -Parker

"He's full of shit" -...

"I'd punch myself and others in the face" -...

"Grab the back of their ass, that's battery" -...

"You're just out for shits and giggles, breaking into houses for fun" -...

"Fuck it, you're under arrest" -...

"I wanted to troll him, so I asked, 'Are you stopping me, sir?' The policeman said, 'no, I'm not.' So I just drove off" *the class applauds* -...Don

"He's already in her pants" -Parker

"Put deodorant on your fingers and forehead" -David

"If you don't like my puns go cry me a river" -Parker

"Damn you Haylee, you and your stupid quotes" -Parker

"Nobody should cheer for Hitler!" -Parker

"Turns out it's a dildo" -...

"If you consent you're an idiot" -...Don

"It'd be a complete cluster fuck" -...

"Who do you think you is?" -David

"Do I look like I give a shit about cell phone policies?" -...


"Go to the bathroom faster economics boy" -...Don

"If you don't raise your hand you don't exist" -David

"I'm funny, laugh" -Parker

"Evan is a lying bastard" -David

  • after singing a violent Russian song* "Faith, you look like that's the scariest shit you've ever heard." -David

"I can bully all of you" -David

"I find it funny that when someone falls asleep and I wake them up, they immediately put their hand in the air to answer a question. Good job. Immediate reaction." -...Don

"Go drink your haterade somewhere else" -...Don

"I said that. Listen up." -Karin

(during final trial) "When I'm upset, I shop at Nordstrom." -...Don

"Wifi" -Evan

"What the heck is Wifi." -Faith

"Objection WiFi." -Jack

Mock Trial


Prosecution 1: Attorneys: Chandan, Jack, Parker Witnesses: Faith, Jared, Aniketh

Defense 1: Don and David

Prosecution 2: Attorneys: Saahil, God, Haylee Witnesses: Mark, Rebecca, Mikayla

Defense 2: Attorneys: Kaleigh, Netra, Daniel Witnesses: Karin, Evan, Sage

Results: In trial one, with Criminal Minds as a Jury, the Prosecution won with an 11-6 vote (Everybody in CTA and the Criminal Minds teacher were surprised and thought the verdict was incorrect, including the Prosecution that won).

In trial two, with part of CTA and some staff as the Jury, the Defense won with a 5-3 vote, however on points (assigned by Don), the Prosecution won 105-103.

Class of 2014 Term 2

Fourth Years: Sam, Paul, Roman, Malcolm, JJ

Third Years: Maddie, Lexie, Michael, Valentina, Sydney, Anna, Mary Beth, Ryan, Piglet

Second Years: Cameron, Cecilia, Andrew, Robbie

TA: David

Teacher: Don C. Donelson III


Red Herrings: Piglet, Anna, Roman, Robbie, Ryan (Final Total = 26,400)

Highs and Lows: Maddie, Cecelia, Andrew, Paul, Sam (Final Total = 36,401)

Honey Badgers: Lexie, Mary Beth, Valentina, JJ (Final Total = 0)

Flying Unicorns: Malcolm, Cameron, Michael, Sydney (Final Total = 19,200)


"You call me Don, professor, or Daddy." - Don

"You can't kill someone when they're already dead." - Don

"Bring the crack cocaine and your friends." - Don

"Someone must die." - Don

Class of 2015 Term 1

2015 was a particularly great year. Especially with the welcoming of the new TA, Maria Labella. Also, it was quite the emotional term. On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in favor of legalizing homosexual marriage in all of the states. In the middle of the final Mock Trial, Don asked the judge (Mr. Burger) for a brief recess as he cried with tears of joy. All of CTA bear-hugged Don as it was a very emotional moment for all of us. This was possibly the greatest Term ever to take CTA. We were and are the best TIP fam yet. Teams included: D.H.H. (Don's Happy Hurricanes), Donye West, Entangled Tangelos and Legion XIII. Donye West ended up beating D.H.H. for the title and their rewards was the Vermonster from Ben and Jerry's. They completed the Vermonster in 12 minutes and 24 seconds.


"I wanted to be one with my spirit. So I went to Nordstrom." -Don

"Give me a stick of Gum asshole." -Don

"I graduated from UCLA with a 4.0. I had a 2.0 in marketing and a 2.0 in business." -Don

"Yeah man" -Hunter Baxamusa (Surya)

"Hear the Marijuana" -Ethan

That entire evening session when we had the debate about whether or not Chris's tardiness would lose his team points.

While eating 1/2 the Vermonster, "I burped so I can eat more" -Ethan(the real MVP)

Don puns: Donye West, Don Swanson, Don Jovi, Don Lennon, etc...

"Sanya, are you asking me a question?" -Don

"GOT'EEM!" -Surya

"I love all of you!" -Everyone

"It's because I'm brown" -Evellyn

Mock Trial

Trial 1-

Prosecution (Dream Team): August, Owen, Sydney, Jarred, Chris & Sabrina

Defense: Don & Maria

Verdict: Not Guilty (Defense)

Trial 2-

Prosecution: Christian, Evellyn, Mack, Maya, Teddy & Surya(Best Witness)

Defense: Ethan, Emily, Elizabeth, Sarah Michael, Olivia & Sanya

Verdict: Not Guilty (Defense)

Group Picture

We are family


Top Row: Teddy, Chris, Jared, Don, August, Christian, Surya, Owen, Mack, Sarah Michael

Front Row: Sabrina, Maya, Maria, Ethan, Emily, Olivia, Sanya, Evellyn, Elizabeth, Sydney

Class of 2015 Term 2

We don't need a lot of words because it's not possible to explain our class in words. #donfidence

4th Years: Alec, Colin, John, Matt, Micah, Sebastian, Simone

3rd Years: Grace, Mary Frances, Natalie, Rachel, Sammi

2nd Years: Caroline, Emma, Harrison, Nick, Megan, Sydney

You know what happens when you make assumptions...

Class of 2016 Term 1


DA (Either Dumbledore's Army or Don's Amateurs) - Ani, Ayush, Conlan, Erin, Soren

[final score: 10,200]

Space_Bar - Caroline, Jeffrey, Will, Zoe, Robert (for the first half)

[final score: 31,299]

Fantastic Four - Lauren, Porter, Sadie, Taylor, Robert (for the second half)

[final score: 28,100]

Justice League - Karlyn, Leah, Hailey, Naasir

[final score: 17,000]

Don's detours

Irish Potato Famine

Dunning Kruger

Molly and Mr. Bean

D.A.R.E - (the Pope probably wouldn't do crack even if he really wanted to)

Primacy and Recency



"We have to look fly. We have to slay." -Don

"Kathryn the bees are dying at an alarming rate." -Sadie

"I already have an HDMI cable. I need a computer with an HDMI output, you stupid brats."

"Porter, you son of a bitch."


"Are you fucking dumb?"

"You used the word 'she' 17 times in your testimony!"

"You guys are all assholes"

"She thru up in the vermonster bucket tf"

"You guys were an average class. But an average class holds a special place in my heart."

Inside Jokes

Free the Criminals

I Kant Even

We are the people of Group C

Don's the Pope

What are the odds?

The elephant riddle

Animals are innocent (DON'T BE SPECIESIST)

I <3 Prague

"Baby snake" incident

Vermonster puke

Jeffrey and Karlyn's fight

Breaking Free (yes, the song from High School Musical)

There is no Don but Don, and Kathryn is his messenger

Mock Trial

Trial One:

Defense - Will, Sadie, Karlyn, Soren, Jeffrey, Hailey

Prosecution - Don and Kathryn

The defense won, beating Don and Kathryn!!!

Trial Two:

Defense - Taylor, Erin, Lauren, Porter, Zoe

Prosecution - Naasir, Caroline, Robert, Ani, Conlan

The defense won!!!

Group Picture


Back row: Don, Conlan, Naasir, Ayush, Erin, Will, Hailey, Karlyn, Robert, Porter, Caroline, Kathryn

Front Row: Jeffrey, Soren, Sadie, Zoe, Ani, Taylor, Lauren, Leah

Class of 2016 Term 2


4th Years

  • Emma Bredenkamp - Most likely to wear a jacket as pants
  • Ben Bridges - Most likely to get his hair touched
  • Gabby Herrick - Most likely to be sassed by Don
  • Joe Hlavinka (Goon '15-'16) - Most Likely to get Kancho-ed

3rd Years

  • Zoë Ganter (Sexy Mama '16-'17) - Most likely to write the best brief
  • Jerry Gee III - Most likely to get yelled at
  • Chris Gold (Goon '16-'17) - Most likely to cripple his TA
  • Elizabeth Hepburn - Most likely to be perfect
  • Payton Little - Most likely to look down on you (literally)
  • Charlie Martin - Most likely to fall out of his chair
  • Lauren Maunder - Most likely to be the creator of Gabby's snarky comments
  • Miranda Straubel - Most likely to rob Ian
  • Madeline Tuck - Most likely to wear cool shoes

2nd Years

  • Kate Adkins - Most likely to shush Colin and Billy
  • Adam Astrachan - Most likely to tell you weird animal facts
  • Julia Hernandez - Most likely to have $20
  • Colin Hinze - Most likely to brush his teeth during class
  • Ian Jensen - Most likely to not say his number during count-off
  • Billy Lockhart - Most likely to shout out something offensive
  • Isabella Shutt - Most likely to have a cool southern accent

Instructor - Don Donelson

TA - Kathryn Kuethman


Donminators -

  • Elizabeth Hepburn
  • Chris Gold
  • Madeline Tuck
  • Lauren Maunder
  • Charlie Martin

Don's Daddies -

Team-3-Can-Leave -

  • Emma Bredenkamp
  • Payton Little
  • Ian Jensen
  • Isabella Shutt
  • Billy Lockhart

Something Clever -

  • Ben Bridges
  • Zoë Ganter
  • Miranda Straubel
  • Jerry Gee III
  • Colin Hinze

Inside Jokes

  • Regina v. Dudley and Stephens
  • Kathryn, will you go to the dance with me?
  • 5th Grade Football
  • FSU
  • This is not a hard question.
  • Did somebody say, "FREEBIRD?!"

Mock Trial

Trial 1

  • Defense (Won)- Attorneys/Witnesses: Don Donelson, Kathryn Kuethman
  • Prosecution - Attorneys: Julia Hernandez, Zoë Ganter, Billy Lockhart; Witnesses: Adam Astrachan, Joe Hlavinka, Emma Bredenkamp

Trial 2

  • Defense (Won)- Attorneys: Colin Hinze, Elizabeth Hepburn, Ian Jensen, Chris Gold; Witnesses: Kate Adkins, Charlie Martin, Jerry Gee III
  • Prosecution - Attorneys: Miranda Straubel, Isabella Shutt, Ben Bridges, Gabby Herrick; Witnesses: Payton Little, Lauren Maunder, Madeline Tuck

Class of 2017 Term 2


Class of 2018

Term 1


Term 2

Rice University

A separate page has been created here for Term 2

Class of 2019 @ RICE UNI

Term II

The best class ever!