Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Lafayette’s mock trial team got off to a smashing start in its first tournament of the 2000-01 season, being named “Outstanding New Program” at the Loras College Invitational in Dubuque, Iowa, Jan. 25-28.

The Loras Invitational is the nation’s largest mock trial tournament of the season, with a field of some 40 teams, including such national powerhouses as Macalester College, Miami University (Ohio), Bellarmine University, Drake University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota.

Lafayette entered two teams in the competition. The captains were sophomores Sarah Stocker of Harrison, N.Y., and Megan Cottrell (Doylestown, Pa.).

Other Lafayette participants were Rachael Blackman ’04 (Warwick, R.I.), Seanna Dyer ’03 (Portland, Maine), Greg Emrick ’03 (Pottstown, Pa.), Jon Evenden ’04 (Ridgewood, N.J.), Rob Fallone ’04 (Bridgewater, N.J.), Brian Heyesey ’03 (Hightstown, N.J.), and Cherish O’Donnell ’03 (Toms River, N.J.).

Also, Beth Ponder ’04 (Collegeville, Pa.), Kim Posocco ’03 (Scranton, Pa.), Erin Reynolds ’03 (Larchmont, N.Y.), Sarah Rosenzweig ’03 (Columbia, S.C.), Bill Simmons ’04 (Trenton, N.J.), Adrienne Stark ’04 (Oxford, N.J.), Robin Yudkovitz ’03 (Westfield, N.J.).

Mock trial is a simulation of a bench trial (a trial before a single judge) based on a hypothetical legal case in which teams of six to eight students each take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses.

The Outstanding New Program award is given to a program with less than three years of experience on the national circuit, says the team’s director, Bruce Allen Murphy, Lafayette’s Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights. Lafayette captured the prize on the basis of its victories, teamwork, and overall improvement during the tournament.

“Mock trial puts a premium on the ability of competitors to use their creativity, intelligence, reasoning ability, and persuasive speaking skills to adjust as a team to varying circumstances in the trial. Team members are scored not on the basis of whether the trial is won or lost, but how successfully each fills his or her role as attorney or witness,” Murphy says. “Lafayette’s teams particularly impressed the competition with their improvement over the course of the tournament.”

The Lafayette team is in just its second year of competition. Last February, in its very first official competition, the team was named an “Outstanding New Team” at an American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) regional tournament hosted by Princeton University.

Lafayette will participate next in a highly competitive AMTA regional tournament, hosted by the University of Maryland, the 2000 AMTA national champion, Feb. 23-25. Lafayette is aiming to qualify to participate in one of two AMTA championship competitions, the National Tournament (formerly Silver Flight Tournament), March 16-18 in St. Paul, Minn., and the National Championship Tournament, March 30 to April 1 in Des Moines, Iowa.

The AMTA was founded in 1985 to give undergraduate students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the work of trial attorneys, understand the judicial system, develop critical thinking, and enhance communication skills.

Categorized in: Academic News