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Lafayette’s mock trial program will host its first tournament in Pardee Hall Dec. 3-5. Registration will be from 3-4 p.m. Friday in Colton Chapel and the first round of competition will begin at 5 p.m.

A total of 19 teams, including four from Lafayette, will compete. Schools sending teams will be Elizabethtown College, George Washington University, University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School, SUNY-Buffalo, Penn State (University Park and Altoona campuses), University of Toledo, Villanova University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Two rounds will take place Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m. The final round will be held Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.

The mock trial team is advised by Diane Elliott, director for public service at Lafayette’s Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, and assisted by Carmela B. Karns, administrative assistant.

The fictitious case for 2004-05 is Kissner vs. Polk Hospital, in which the promising young golf career of Tony Kissner has been tragically cut short. What seemed to be a career with nothing but potential is now over because of the actions of a man suffering from a severe mental illness. The competitors work out who is to blame for this tragedy and who will be found accountable for what happened to Kissner.

The competition requires students to take on the role of an attorney or witness involved in the case.

“You’re judged on how well you play your part,” Karns says.

David Myers ’07 (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), a government and law major, will play an attorney on both sides of the case.

“Being a mock trial attorney entails preparing and rehearsing a direct examination for one witness on each side, as well as preparing a cross examination of a witness on the opposing team,” he explains. “We have an idea of what they’re going to say because each witness has a prepared affidavit, but there are always surprises.”

Tournaments such as this one help prepare students for regional and national tournaments. Lafayette will head to Princeton University for its next regional competition Feb. 18-20.

Lafayette fielded the eighth-place team and two individual award winners in a highly competitive 38-team field at the Brown/Roger Williams Mock Trial Invitational tournament hosted by Brown University Nov. 6-7.

Categorized in: Academic News