Two USC law students receive D. Reece Williams III Trial Advocacy Award

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two students at the University of South Carolina School of Law have been honored with the D. Reece Williams III Trial Advocacy Award after they won the school’s mock trial competition.

The honorees are Kyle Watson and Creasie Parrott.

The South Carolina Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a by-invitation organization of which Reece Williams has been a member since 1989, created the advocacy award in 2009.

Watson and Parrott were honored at the School of Law’s annual Awards Day in April. The award was presented by ABOTA members Robert Goings of the Goings Law Firm, Kirby D. Shealy III of Adams & Reese, and D. Reece Williams III himself. The award includes a certificate and a cash prize.

Kyle Watson is from Winston-Salem, N.C., and is the son of Alicia Watson Coleman. Creasie Parrott is from Johnsonville, S.C., and is the daughter of Carroll Powell and Lynn Miles.

They received the award for winning the mock trial competition last fall.

The “trial” was about a complicated murder case involving three friends who had a falling out, which led to the murder of one of them. One of the other friends was charged. “We were able to show the jury that the state was unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Kyle. He said they managed to demonstrate that three other individuals had motive, means and opportunity to commit the crime.

Kyle, who transferred from Charlotte School of Law in 2017, will graduate law school in December. He is currently working at Baker, Ravenel & Bender, L.L.P., and has accepted an offer to continue doing so after graduation.

Creasie graduated in May in the top 20 percent of her class with cum laude honors. She is currently serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable William P. Keesley of the 11th Judicial Circuit. Later, she hopes to go into a practice area that will allow her to use the skills honed in mock trial competitions.

In 2000, Reece Williams served as national president ABOTA. He was South Carolina’s Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2006, and he’s a past president of the Richland County Bar.

Williams often helps teach advocacy skills to other attorneys. He has a long history of commitment to legal education, speaking frequently at workshops and seminars throughout the country. He’s also appeared at dozens of trial demonstrations in more than 30 states, and he’s taught at the National Trial Academy of the National Judicial College. He’s served as a guest speaker at the USC School of Law, which is his alma mater.