By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
The mock trial team hosted its first regional tournament on Nov. 8 and 9 at Xavier University, with 20 teams participating in the Queen City Invitational.
Since the release of the case by the American Mock Trial Association in August, the mock trial team had been preparing for their cases and the tournament.
“We put in an enormous amount of work for this tournament, but it was honestly never too much work and it was never overbearing,” President Annie Szendrey said.
To prepare for the regional tournament, the coaches and student members had to prepare food venders, classrooms, drinks, ballots and trophies to help the tournament run smoothly.
“The coaches were the main reason this tournament ran so smoothly because they were able to outline everything that needed to be done. They were amazing at running everything on schedule and they even ran ahead of schedule sometimes,” Szendrey said.
The team was also in charge of emailing and calling 80 judges to volunteer for the tournament.
“Schools really want good judges to attend the tournaments. Thankfully, our pull of judges were amazing and they were all law students or attorneys within the Cincinnati area,” Szendrey said.
This year marks the first time Xavier has held a regional mock rail event. The tournament was held to fundraise for travel expenses for the team’s various other tournaments and as a learning experience for the new members on the team. The mock trial team is composed of 20 members, ten of which are first-year students.
“We did about as well as we, and our coaches, expected us to do,” Szendrey said. “This tournament was an amazing learning experience, not only for our freshman, but for the returners as well.”
The team had formed its own cases, questions asked by the attorneys and crosses for the tournament.
“The best part of Mock Trial is that you get practice both sides,” Szendrey said. “Attorneys have to think both ways allowing them to really think quickly on their feet.” Within the following weeks, the team will start over on the case in order to bring new witnesses and ideas to view.
“For next week, we are planning on redoing the rosters for the teams, picking different witnesses, and basically starting from ground zero,” Szendrey said.
The team plans to scrimmage the University of Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky University before Christmas.
This scrimmage will help prepare them for their first regional tournament in February, which helps lead them to the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS).
“The mock trial team made it to ORCS last year and we can only hope to make it that far again this year. Our main goal is to make it to nationals of course, but placing in ORCS will be just as awesome,” Szendrey said.
ORCS only takes the top eight teams from the regional tournament and those that are the top teams in ORCS move onto Nationals.