Monmouth University’s mock trial team competed this past weekend in the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) regional tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, hosted by Yale University. The regional tournament was one of 25 regional tournaments throughout the month of February as part of AMTA’s formal tournament process ultimately leading up to national competition in April. This year, over 650 teams registered with AMTA, making it the largest inter-collegiate mock trial competition in the nation by far.
In the New Haven regional, 24 teams competed from schools such as Drexel, Quinnipiac, Columbia, Bates, Yale, Vassar, U. of Penn, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, and Farleigh Dickinson. In the highly competitive field, eight teams were awarded bids to the next round of competition, the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS).
The tournament structure was comprised of four rounds (two on the prosecution side, two on the defense side), with two judging ballots each round. Students were to develop their own trial strategy, including which three witnesses from a longer list to call to develop their case. In its second year of existence, the Monmouth University mock trial team went 3-5 in the regional competition, narrowly missing an ORCS bid by only a few points. Monmouth won both ballots in its opening round against Fairleigh Dickinson and then split a round (one winning ballot, one loss) with Fordham College at Lincoln Center, a team that earned an ORCS bid. After a challenging round three against Columbia, Monmouth University went into the final round still viable for an ORCS bid making for a dramatic and close last round battle against Quinnipiac.
The Monmouth “Law Hawks” also won their first team award at the New Haven regional, the AMTA Spirit Award. The AMTA Spirit Award is given to the team that best exemplifies the ideals of honesty, civility, and fair play in a particular tournament. Ranked by the teams against which Monmouth University competed in the first three rounds, the team scored strongly on values of cordiality and friendliness particularly by the Fairleigh Dickinson team. The award represents important notions of professionalism in future attorneys and was proudly accepted by 2013-2014 team captains Joseph Dellera and Cara Turcich.
For more information, Professor Greg Bordelon at email@example.com.