November 30, 2020 at 1:15 pm

OHIO Mock Trial Wins AMTA Invitational Tournament, Four Students Win Awards

Mock Trial Members After AMTA Invitational, group Teams shot

Mock Trial Members After AMTA Invitational

The Ohio University Mock Trial team competed in the first ever American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Virtual Exhibition Tournament, with OHIO’s Green Team winning the tournament with the best competition record of the Nov. 21-22 weekend.

Twenty-four teams from across the country participated in the tournament, with Ohio University fielding two teams.

This is the first time Ohio University has won a Mock Trial invitational tournament. Rankings are determined by trial wins and losses, the point differential of each trial, and the calculated strength of the opposing teams. The Green Team had a record of seven wins and only one loss.

Additionally, four Ohio University Mock Trial competitors were awarded for their performances. These awards are reflective on the number of times an attorney or witness ranked in trial by mock trial judges, who are lawyers and judges.  Two attorneys, Diamond Brooks and Nick Bohuslawsky, received Outstanding Attorney awards. Two witnesses, Colin Schilf and Hannah Louck, received Outstanding Witness awards. This also represents the first time Ohio University Mock Trial has had four competitors honored at one tournament.

“This accomplishment is meaningful not only because it is a university milestone, but also because it rewards the entire Mock Trial program’s dedication, adaptability, and creativity. I am proud to be a team leader of such strong competitors, students, and friends,” say Ellen Gill is a third-year student studying English Pre-Law and Sociology-Criminology with a Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture.

Each team is composed of two sides, the plaintiff and the defense. Each side goes against an opposing team’s counterpart, and judges determine which side won the trial. Each side has three attorneys and three witnesses prepared to present.

In a Mock Trial competition, opposing teams are determined by the progressive performance of each team. While Round 1 pairings are randomly selected, Rounds 2-4 are determined based on the number of ballots in which a judge indicates that a side won the trial. The number of ballots a team wins contributes to their overall record and team awards. A team can win up to six ballots in total: two ballots per trial.

Prior to attending the AMTA Virtual Exhibition Tournament, both teams competed at the 15th Annual Justice Louis D. Brandeis Invitational Tournament and held two inner-team scrimmages. The scrimmages were judged by Ohio University Mock alumni who now practice law.

“Our team has been able to attend more invitational tournaments and scrimmages this season because of the virtual format. Our teams are even stronger because of the greater opportunity to present our materials,” said Mock Trial Vice-President and Green Team Attorney Micaela Beatham-Garcia, a junior majoring in Political Science Pre-Law with a minor in History and certificates in Law, Justice & Culture as well as War and Peace Studies.

Using the experience garnered at the AMTA and Brandeis tournaments, with particular attention to the comments offered by judges, the Mock Trial program will continue to prepare for upcoming competitions. More specifically, programs across the nation are preparing for AMTA’s regional competitions that will be held in mid-February.

In order to prepare, Ohio University is scheduled to compete in mid-January at the 13th Annual Illini Invitational. This will be an opportunity for both teams to perform improved case materials prior to the regional competition, alongside informal scrimmages to be held against other university’s Mock Trial programs.

Ali Gucwa, the Mock Trial Treasurer and a Green Team witness, is confident that the teams’ strong start to the season is reflective of the competition to come.

“Our teams have both already displayed such drive and preparedness in early tournaments that I am so excited for how we will continue to perform. We will take all of the comments and critiques provided by judges and alumni to make sure we are able to put forth the strongest case possible in February,” said Gucwa, who is also a third-year student and she is studying Political Science Pre-Law with a minor in Environmental Studies.

Students selected for the 2020-2021 Mock Trial team are:

  • Micaela Beatham-Garcia, a junior studying Political Science Pre-Law and Global Studies
  • Nick Bohuslawsky, a sophomore studying Political Science Pre-Law
  • Diamond Brooks, a junior studying HTC Political Science
  • Michael Ferris, a junior studying Communication and World Religions
  • Hailey Gifford, a sophomore studying Political Science Pre-Law and Spanish
  • Ellen Gill, a junior student studying English Pre-Law and Sociology Criminology with a certificate in Law, Justice & Culture
  • Daniela Grijalva, a senior studying Latin American Studies and Political Science with a minor in Anthropology
  • Ali Gucwa, a junior majoring in Environmental Pre-Law and Urban Planning
  • Hannah Louck, a freshman majoring History and Sociology
  • Jorden Milliken, a senior studying Psychology and Sociology Criminology with a Certificate in Forensic Studies
  • Trinity Mixon, a junior studying Political Science Pre-Law
  • Joshua Olivito, a freshman studying Political Science Pre-Law
  • Casey Patterson, a freshman Political Science major
  • Jonas Lincoln Schaaf, a sophomore studying Sociology
  • Jane Roche, a sophomore majoring in Political Science Pre-Law
  • Emma Scharstein, a freshman studying Forensic Chemistry
  • Colin Schilf, a freshman studying HTC Physics
  • Makayla Walter, a freshman studying English Pre-Law
  • Nicole Ward, a freshman student studying Political Science Pre-Law

The team is affiliated with the Center for Law, Justice & Culture and is coached by CLJC Pre-Law Advisor Larry Hayman, Esq.

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