Quincy University hosted a mock trial scrimmage Sunday, February 4, 2017. The participating teams included members from Quincy University, St. Ambrose University, and the University of Illinois-Springfield.
The event took place in the John “Pete” Brown Court Room in Friars Hall.
Sophomore mock trial member, Austin Reiter, said the high volume of QU students involved in mock trial this year has allowed them to produce two separate squads- an A team and a B team.
“Last weekend’s scrimmage was really important because we all got to prepare for our upcoming regionals, practice our roles, and really prepare for the next tournament. It was good for both of our teams to get some practice in, ” Reiter said.
The scrimmage consisted of two separate rounds for each team. During one round, an individual team puts on the case for the plaintiff while the opposing team puts on the case for the defense. Following that, for the second round, the two teams switch sides.
While no actual winner was announced during the scrimmage, the team members received critiques from the judges marking areas of strong performance as well as areas for improvement.
The two, QU mock trial teams are gearing up for their regional competition at Washington University in St. Louis on February 18- 19th, 2017. The teams hope to do well and advance to the first round of nationals.
The QU mock trial team was started in 2000, and since then, the members have advanced to the national competition eight times, with sights set on a ninth trip.
Students have racked up a number of individual as well as team awards over the years at regional and national tournaments. Students are able to win awards for their roles as attorneys and witnesses.
The teams need to finish in at least third place in the regional tournament to advance to the national tournament. A freshman mock trial member, Mary Argana, feels like the scrimmage this past weekend, prepared the team for that challenge.
“It was a great scrimmage. We faced new challenges going against two different teams and we are going to be really prepared going into regionals. Things came up we needed to address, and in the long run, it will make us better moving forward,” Argana said.
The American Mock Trial Association began in 1985. Each year, the AMTA produces a case for college-level students to prepare for moot court scrimmages, tournaments, regionals, and nationals.
The case of study alternates each year between a criminal and civil suit, providing interested students with a chance to learn and practice both sides of the law. The case this year is a civil suit centering on age-discrimination.
QU Professor of Political Science, Brian Borlas, has coached the mock trial team since 2001. He believes it is instrumental to the students’ education.
“Mock trial provides students with an infinitely better education. Students learn to think on their feet, learn legal reasoning, core value, how to argue, learn what’s important, and ultimately, they can decide whether or not law school is for them or not,” Borlas said.