Cresson, Pa. – Those new to Mock Trial competition might be reminded of the board game Clue – Mr. Plumstead in the dining room with the candle stick. They would be wrong. Collegiate Mock Trial competition is about deep preparation, focus, commitment, team support and cat-quick connections between mind and mouth. Mount Aloysius College’s Mock Trial team is new to competition – just launching their second year – and their mantra is to keep trying harder. This past weekend the Mount Aloysius College Mock Trial Team concluded a successful tournament showing at Penn State University, State College, Pa. The team scored a tough win against Bucknell and ties against Penn State and Elizabethtown College. Defending national champions Yale took first in the Penn State tourney; coincidentally Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley coached at Yale during his law school years there.
Mount Aloysius College Mock Trial Coach, Attorney David Andrews noted that the initial competition showed both the strengths and weaknesses of the team. “It was a good first tournament,” said Attorney Andrews, “but there is a tough road ahead with tournaments at Carnegie Melon University and Johns Hopkins University ahead of us as we continue preparing for the National Tournament in February.”
Several Mount Aloysius team members earned nominations for Best Attorney. Mounties nominated for Best Attorney by the judges included: Teresa Goc, York, Pa.; Tessa Boyles, Beaverdale, Pa.; David Regala, Ebensburg, Pa.; Shannon Horvath, Hollidaysburg, Pa; Maggee Carrara, Freeport, Pa.; and Krista Wenturine, Nicktown, Pa. Two Mountie team members –John Branick, Ebensburg, Pa., and Mandie Leithner, Ridgway, Pa. – received Best Witness nominations.
The competitive world of intercollegiate Mock Trial is structured around the rules established by The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). The AMTA, founded in 1985, serves as the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. Through engaging in trial simulations in competition with teams from other institutions, students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as knowledge of legal practices and procedures. AMTA sponsors regional and national-level competitions, as well as providing interesting and complex case materials for academic use.
AMTA hosts 25 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season. Approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges compete in these tournaments. In total, AMTA provides a forum for over 5,300 undergraduate students each academic year to engage in intercollegiate mock trial competitions across the country.
The Mock Aloysius College Mock Trial team continues preparation as they maintain readiness for competition at the Carnegie-Mellon Tournament in Pittsburgh December 1st through 3rd.