You are here

Meet the Coaches

Holy Cross is fortunate to have three dedicated and talented coaches who make a great effort preparing our trial teams.

Each a successful practicing attorney, they share more than 40 years of experience preparing and trying cases in New England. As alumni of Holy Cross, they are familiar with the mission and goals of a Jesuit education. At Holy Cross, we prepare teams that are capable of competing at a high level. There is, however, a long tradition of maintaining the fun aspects of competing as well as making it a competitive learning experience.

Edward F. McDermott, J.D. ’79 P13,10 - Visiting Lecturer, Co-Coach - Mock Trial Team

McDermott is our most senior coach; he has mentored and worked with hundreds of students who have competed over the years. McDermott is a seasoned trial attorney with over 30 years of experience. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in 1979, he graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 1982. He has been an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County (Boston), as well as a counsel panel member for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While in private practice, Attorney McDermott tried cases for both insurance carriers and injured individuals through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, he was appointed Deputy Compact Administrator to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offenders (ICAOS) for the Massachusetts Trial Court.

John O’Donnell, J.D. ‘04

O’Donnell practices in the field of general litigation with a focus on insurance defense, personal injury and medical malpractice defense. In 2014 he was named a Rising Star in the field of General Personal Injury Defense by Super Lawyer’s Magazine. He joined the Hartford, Connecticut firm of Cooney, Scully and Dowling in 2007. He works on a wide range of litigation matters with a focus on premises liability, automotive liability, medical malpractice defense, uninsured/underinsured motorist defense, product liability and contract matters.

Neil Petersen, J.D. ’04

Petersen is a practicing attorney and partner with Worcester firm Pojani, Hurley, and Ritter, LLP. He is a 2004 graduate of Holy Cross and a 2007 graduate of Boston College Law School. After graduating law school, he was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 2007 and practiced for four years in Boston before relocating to Worcester County. His practice is concentrated in the areas of business, real estate and commercial finance law. In addition to his practice, Attorney Petersen actively serves as a board member for a number of local nonprofits. He has been coaching Moot Court together with John O’Donnell (his former roommate at Holy Cross) since the 2013-2014 season.