April 06, 2011

Undergraduate Students Prepare for Mock Trial Nationals

CWRU mock trial teamIn late March, the CWRU Mock Trial Organization made history by becoming the university's first undergraduate mock trial team to make it to nationals. The team's sixth-place finish at the opening round Ney National tournament in Greenville, S.C., garnered the team a ticket to the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament, to take place in Des Moines April 15-17. The CWRU mock trial team will be one of 48 teams—out of more than 600 across the country—to compete.

To get there, the team, composed of Patrick Clarke, Dave Dirisamer, Theresa Hanna, Stephen Hern, Mira Lendel, Stuart Long, Abi Pink, Logan Stetzer, Steven Urueta, Matthew Vogler and Nadra Williams, finished with a 6-2 record at the Ney National tournament—“commonly considered the hardest qualifying tournament in the nation,” first-year student Long said. Other teams who advanced to the national championship tournament from this qualifying round included Harvard University, University of Georgia and Furman.

Urueta won an outstanding witness award and Vogler won an outstanding attorney award during the tournament.

To prepare for the tournament, the team received a 150-page case with evidence, precedent case law and witness statements last fall. The case stays relatively solid throughout the year, with only minor tweaks coming in, to give the students time to prepare a solid case, explained Long, an attorney on the team.

Now that the tournament is quickly approaching, students are spending their time fine-tuning their questions, arguments and, in the case of witnesses, stories. Practice has ramped up, Long said, with the students from a variety of undergraduate majors devoting nearly 10 hours per week to official practice time, with more off-hours undoubtedly logged.

For more information, visit www.collegemocktrial.org.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, April 6, 2011 08:46 AM | News Topics: Students

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