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March 10, 2021 at 8:26 am

OHIO Mock Trial Advances to Opening Round Championship Series

The 2021 mock trial team, group Teams shot

The Ohio University Mock Trial Team advances to the Opening Round Championship Series of the American Mock Trial Association’s tournaments on March 13-14.

There, the team will compete to earn a spot to the National Championship, to take place on April 16-18. 

This competition follows the team’s performances at the Regional Tournament on Feb. 13-14, where the team was awarded a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series and four students won individual awards, including Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Attorney.

Between August and February, OHIO Mock Trial has competed at four invitational tournaments: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the AMTA Virtual Exhibition Tournament, Brandeis University, and the College of Saint Rose. Each tournament provided the competitors with a new set of comments and critiques to continue to better their case. 

Students competing on the team are thrilled to be advancing to the Opening Round Championship Series for the second time since 2016.

“We are just so honored to have the opportunity to compete alongside such strong competitors and represent Ohio University Mock Trial. I am so proud of my teammates and thrilled that we get to continue pushing one another to be the most excellent presenters we can be,” says Mock Trial President Ellen Gill.

Mock Trial Treasurer Ali Gucwa agrees, “I love seeing the hard work that our team put in leading up to Regionals pay off. We are all so excited to have an opportunity to represent Ohio University at ORCS. Even with very little time between Regionals and ORCS, our teams have pushed forward in preparing even better cases for the coming weekend. No matter the outcome of ORCS, our team will walk  from this season feeling proud of what we accomplished.”

To new member Jorden Milliken, the preparation and road to ORCS were all new experiences. “As someone who is very new to Mock Trial, I had no idea what to expect coming into this season, but we have gone above and beyond any expectation that I had. Going to ORCS this year is the cherry on top, and proves to us that we are a strong competitor. While the work leading up to ORCS is stressful, I can’t wait to see our cases come together and go against other fantastic teams this weekend!”

Vice President Micaela Beatham-Garcia explains, “I’m excited to see not only our members be personally challenged with this new level of competition, but our team since none of us have been to ORCS before.”

New Member Colin Schilf concurs, “I’m excited to have another opportunity to present what we’ve been working on at an even higher level this time, because I think this season we’ve managed to build a strong sense of family despite all of the online roadblocks, and ORCS is another opportunity to reward that work and continue to learn for the future of the program and the future of each member on the team.”

In a year full of unknowns, the Ohio University Mock Trial Program is embracing new opportunities as the team approaches this weekend’s ORCS Tournament. This year, all tournaments have been held virtually, providing a completely new landscape for Mock Trial competitors. By using Zoom to present, new possibilities such as virtual background and interactive demonstratives became a part of the competition, as well as the ability to compete all over the United States while not having to travel. 

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

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