Queensborough’s Mock Trial Team Competed in American Mock Trial Association’s Baltimore Regional Tournament, Held at University Of Maryland Law School

Published: March 22, 2017

Competing in the American Mock Trial Association (“AMTA”) Baltimore Regional Tournament held at the University of Maryland Law School in Baltimore Maryland and hosted by the University of Maryland over the weekend of February 18-19th, the Queensborough Community College Mock Trial Team faced strong opposition from mock trial teams from the University of Maryland, Bucknell University, Washington Adventist University and Stockton University.

Elaine Thompson, a faculty member in the QCC Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Department and one of the team’s two current faculty advisors/coaches noted that “participation in the tournament and in the extensive preparation prior to the tournament is an extremely valuable experience for our students, which provides students the opportunity to compete against teams of good students from other colleges and universities.”  Professor Thompson added that “through this experience our students improve their communication skills and increase their self-confidence and poise. “  

Professor Kelly Ford, a member of the QCC Business Department faculty and a former faculty advisor to the mock trial team, who was one of the faculty members accompanying the team to the Baltimore Regional commented “it is a source of great pride for me to observe our students compete in the very high level and demanding AMTA regional tournaments.  I know the amount of work that is required to be able to compete in the regional tournament and our students represented our college well, as our students have done in the past.”

The other current faculty advisor/coach of the team, Professor Ted Rosen, also of the Queensborough Business Department, noted that “all of the colleges and universities in the AMTA Baltimore Regional, except Queensborough, were four-year schools. As a result, Professor Rosen continued “most, if not all of the teams our team faced had students who had experience in mock trial competition in prior years, while all of our students who competed in the tournament this year were competing in the AMTA mock trial tournament for the first time.” 

All of the teams of students from colleges and universities compete in the AMTA tournament by trying the same case.  Students participate as witnesses and as lawyers.  Elaine Thompson stated, “Students, who portray witnesses, learn factual affidavits or expert reports and evidentiary exhibits in order to prepare for being questioned on direct and cross-examination.  Their challenge is to take this material and use it to create witnesses who display character and personality.” 

Professor Rosen stated that the students portraying lawyers in mock trial “do much of the same things that lawyers do while trying cases in real court.”  He explained “the student s present opening and closing statements, engage in direct and cross-examination and argue for and against the introduction of items into evidence.”

In the each of the four rounds of the tournament, the students are scored by volunteer “judges”, most of whom are practicing attorneys.

There are approximately 600 teams from the more than 350 colleges and universities competing in the AMTA tournament this year, involving over 5,300 undergraduate students in the mock trial competitions.

Also competing in the Baltimore Regional were teams from the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Princeton University, University of Richmond, Johns Hopkins University, Ursinus College, Stevenson University, Mount St. Mary’s University, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall College, Monmouth University, and Roger Williams University.

The students who were members of the QCC Mock Trial Team this year are Sabrina Alho, Soham Chakraborty, William Gilmore, Steven Nakhwal, Zun Kit Ooi, Rosali Rocha, Cristina Salane and Mabely Salvador.                    

This year’s mock trial case is a civil age discrimination case.  Riley Winter, a 51 year old writer who had been employed by a magazine for more than 27 years, is suing the magazine for age discrimination after having been fired following the magazine’s acquisition by a new owner who converted the magazine from a print magazine to an online magazine. There are ten potential witnesses including Riley Winter, the magazine’s editor in chief, the new CEO of the magazine, the magazine’ s human resources manager and various expert witnesses.   During the regional tournament, each team tries the case four times, twice from the plaintiff’s side and twice from the defendant’s side. 

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