March 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

OHIO Mock Trial Team Advances; Students Recognized at Regional

Both Ohio University teams after the Awards Ceremony at Pittsburgh School of Law, Pennsylvania.

Both Ohio University teams after the Awards Ceremony at Pittsburgh School of Law, Pennsylvania.

The Ohio University Mock Trial Team competed in the regional American Mock Trial Association competition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law on Feb. 26-28. The OHIO team was divided into two separate competing teams, the Green Team and the White Team, with a total of 19 students.

The White Team received an Honorable Mention as a first-year team, and individuals from both teams were recognized for outstanding roles.

Students have been working since early fall to prepare the case for competition. Participants are required to study the case materials and develop a case theory, and ultimately they are assigned roles as attorneys and witnesses.

Both teams competed in their first competitive trial in Pittsburgh on Feb. 26, with each of Ohio University’s defense teams being tested.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, the teams went on to compete in two separate trials. The prosecution for each team was called for each trial that day. The prosecution for White Team won one and a half ballots.

“The opposing team really underestimated our team and it was fantastic to come out on top against them. It was really satisfying to watch my teammates put all of the things we’ve been working on into application,” said Elliott Smith, a swing attorney on the White Team’s defense team, and a sophomore studying history.

On the final day, Sunday, Feb. 28, defense was called for both teams. White Team’s defense again won the trial, winning both ballots and giving them a “clean sweep” for the weekend (meaning they won all four ballots possible).

“I really enjoyed connecting with the other members of the team…. This experience has been nothing but great,” said Alyssa Stegmaier, an opening attorney on White Team’s defense and a sophomore studying communications.

These accomplishments led to Ohio University White Team to receive an Honorable Mention as a first-year team.  Individuals from both teams also were recognized for outstanding roles.

  • Sarah Welch, a senior Piano major, received a Best Attorney Award for her job as the White Team’s defense closing attorney.
  • Noah Allen, a sophomore studying Games and Animation, also was awarded Best Witness for his role as White Team’s expert witness, Dr. Pat Sikorsky.
  • Hannah Caldwell, a senior studying history, played the role of Devyn Delsesto, a witness, for the Green Team and received a perfect witness score of 20, a rare and outstanding accomplishment, giving her the award of Best Witness.
From left to right: Noah Allen, Sarah Welch, and Hannah Caldwell with their awards from the Pittsburgh Regional Competition.

From left to right: Noah Allen, Sarah Welch, and Hannah Caldwell with their awards from the Pittsburgh Regional Competition.

“I was excited to be recognized for my role, mostly because I loved the character so much. My directing attorney, Alyssa Alcorn, and I had a blast developing DelSesto and fitting her character into the case,” said Hannah Caldwell.  “After we got the content figured out, I was given the opportunity to make the role my own, and I think that opportunity was really cool.”

“It was really rewarding to see all of our hard work pay off–and especially for Hannah to receive Best Witness from all the time we devoted to crafting her role,” adds Alcorn, a senior studying communications and the Green Team’s prosecution closing attorney.

Ohio University’s White Team will travel and continue on to compete in Lancaster, PA, March 18-20, in the Open Regional Championship. The team is currently undergoing rigorous practice until their departure on Thursday, March 17.  Ohio University’s White Team was the only first-year team in the country to move on to ORCS. If the team advances with good scores again, they will compete National Championship in Greenville, S.C., April 15-17.

The team is coached by Ohio University Pre-Law Specialist Larry Hayman of the Ohio University Center for Law, Justice & Culture, Associate General Counsel Grant Garber and Miranda West.  The team’s attendance at the competition is made possible by the College of Arts & Sciences, the departments of History, Political Science, Sociology & Anthropology, and Psychology, the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, School of Journalism, School of Communication Studies, School of Media Arts & Studies, Ohio University Student Senate Appropriations Commission, and from generous alumni contributions.

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