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Three Lafayette students earned awards in a highly competitive field of 26 schools at the Yale Mock Trial Association Invitational Tournament Nov. 8-9 in New Haven, Conn.

Erin Reynolds ’03, a double major in government and law and French, received an attorney award. Andy McCarthy ’05 of Marysville, Ohio, and Lori Weaver ’06 of White Haven, Pa., both received witness awards. Only 15 attorney awards and 12 witness awards were presented within the pool of nearly 450 competitors. The students participated in four rounds at the event, which included 56 teams from 26 schools.

Two of Lafayette’s three teams placed higher than squads from schools such as Yale University, Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, Fordham University, and Dickinson College.

“They did great,” says Diane Elliot, team adviser and associate director for public service at the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government. “I was impressed with how prepared they were, how they handled themselves, and how enthusiastic they were. It was a grueling schedule, and they managed to get through it and remain sharp. It was really incredible.”

Team 1 from Lafayette included team captain Rob Fallone ’04, a double major in mathematics and government & law from Bridgewater, N.J., defense attorney/witness; Dyan Argento ’05, a government and foreign languages major from Pittsburgh, Pa., witness; Megan Cottrell ’03, a government and law major from Doylestown, Pa., plaintiff attorney; Seanna Dyer ’03, a double major in psychology and government & law from Portland, Maine, defense attorney; Natalie Kamphaus ’05, a religion and politics major from Athens, Ga., plaintiff attorney/timekeeper; Cherish O’Donnell ’03, a double major in legal philosophy and Spanish from Toms River, N.J., defense attorney/timekeeper; Kim Posocco, a double major in English and history from Scranton, Pa., witness; and William Simmons ’04, a double major in philosophy and English from Trenton, N.J., plaintiff attorney/witness.

Team 2 included team captain Jen Carton ’04, a Spanish major from Interlaken, N.J., defense attorney; Rachael Blackman ’04, a neuroscience major from Warwick, R.I., witness/timekeeper; Brian Heyesey ’03, a government and law major from Hightstown, N.J., attorney/witness; McCarthy, closing defense attorney/alternate witness; Reynolds, closing plaintiff attorney/opening defense attorney; Steve Schrum ’05, a history major from Flanders, N.J., alternate witness/timekeeper; Ben Wilmoth ’05, an economics and business major from Marysville, Ohio, witness; Robyn Yudkovitz ’03, a psychology major from Westfield, N.J., plaintiff opening attorney; and Sarah Stocker ’03, a government and law major from Harrison, N.Y., coach.

Team 3 included team captain John Landon ’03, a government and law major from Shrewsbury, N.J., defense closing attorney/witness; Brandon Benjamin ’06 of Towanda, Pa., plaintiff closing attorney/witness; Steven Caruso ’06 of Middletown, N.J., plaintiff opening attorney; Jenna Cellini ’06 of New York, N.Y., timekeeper/alternate; Alex Kharaz ’06 of Holmdel, N.J., plaintiff attorney; Charles Landon ’06 of Shrewsbury, N.J., witness; Joe Narkevic ’06 of Ambridge, Pa., defense opening attorney; John Raymond ’05, an International Affairs major from Verona, N.J., defense attorney; Weaver, witness; and Jon Glick ’06 of Hamden, Conn., coach.

The students competed in the context of the fictitious case of Lee and Andi Smith vs. J.J. Thompson. The summary states, “On Feb. 8, 2002, Derric Smith, a seven-year-old boy, died as a result of allegedly being struck by a vehicle in front of his home in State Center, Midlands. J.J. Thompson, the defendant, is being sued by the parents of Derric Smith for allegedly hitting their son, thereby causing his wrongful and untimely death.”

Lafayette’s Mock Trial Team has grown considerably during its four-year tenure, extending its ranks to 27 members.

The team won the Spirit of AMTA Award at an American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament last year in College Park, Md., and narrowly missed qualifying to participate in the 2001 AMTA national championships. The Spirit of AMTA Award, voted on by tournament competitors, is presented to the mock trial team “that best exemplifies the ideals of civility, fair play, and justice.”

Last year, Lafayette qualified two groups of students for the American Mock Trial Association National Tournament at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Categorized in: Academic News