Mock trial team 2nd in region

Ashanka Kumari

After four rounds of competition Thursday, Friday and Saturday the UA Mock Trial Association’s A Team won seven of eight ballots and took home a second-place trophy in regional competition in Jackson, Miss. The team will progress to the Opening Round Championship in Memphis, Tenn.

Mock Trial is an organization in which students have a chance to act out court trials by playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses, Hannah Brewer, a junior majoring in psychology and Mock Trial co-captain, said.

“We receive a case packet that includes witness statements, evidence, rules of evidence we have to follow and relevant case law,” Brewer said. “Three attorneys represent the plaintiff and three attorneys represent the defense. Each side calls three witnesses. The attorneys use legal strategy to give opening and closing statements, direct their own witnesses and cross examine the other team’s witnesses.”

The University sent two Mock Trial teams to compete in regional competition, an A team and a B team. Collin Metcalf, a junior majoring in communication studies, economics and finance and a member of the A team, received a “Best Attorney” award for his performance at regionals.

“[Mock Trial] is an incredible and exhilarating learning experience that can put you 10 steps ahead if you’re headed to law school,” Metcalf said. “[At regionals] we had to win the vast majority of the ‘ballots’ we got in our rounds, which we did, going 7-1 throughout the competition to tie for second and qualify for the Opening Round Championships in Memphis.”

Although the A team place second in competition, Mock Trial’s B team did not progress to the Opening Round Championship, Brewer said. This is the second year the UA Mock Trial Association has competed at regionals as a student-run organization.

“Last year we did not place high enough to automatically make it to the Opening Round Championship, but we were placed on a wait list,” Brewer said. “The rule is that only two teams from a school can progress to the Opening Round Championship; since some schools had more than two teams earn a place in the Opening Round Championship, some places opened up and we progressed to the Opening Round Championship in South Carolina. Last year we did not progress to Nationals from the Opening Round Championship.”

Metcalf said Mock Trial is an opportunistic avenue for students interested in trial advocacy.

“There’s truly no better undergraduate program for familiarizing yourself with the law and the way it functions in practice,” he said. “We are in the courtroom, performing for real judges and real attorneys, while impressing the heck out of them in the process. If anyone is interested, they shouldn’t hesitate to give our program a shot.”

A.J. Mada, a senior majoring in marketing and a member of the A team, said two of Vanderbilt University’s teams and a team from The University of Alabama at Birmingham placed ahead of Alabama’s Team A.

“[These teams] finished ahead of us because of strength of schedule,” Mada said. “I believe this is the highest we’ve finished thus far.”

The UA Mock Trial A Team will compete at the Opening Round Championship Series in Memphis, Tenn., from March 22-24 where they will have the chance to progress to the American Mock Trial Association’s National Championship Tournament in Washington D.C.

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