Mock Trial Team Advances to National ChampionshipContact: Snipe, Michele
NEW YORK - After losing every competition last year, the Fordham College at Lincoln Center mock trial team has gone undefeated this season, winning seven trials and tying one. In the most recent competition, the Northeast Regional Tournament at St. Johnís University in February, the Fordham team came in second place beating out the likes of Brown, Columbia, Yale and Cornell.
"The team performed brilliantly," said Susan Beck, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science and the group's faculty adviser. "They anticipated every turn. They really earned their spot at the championship."
Three students were honored for their performance. Sophomore Mary Elise Alario, a political science major, placed ninth out of 66 student attorneys and received a "Best Attorney" award. Sophomore Christina Lind, a visual arts major, placed third out of 66 student witnesses, while senior Sharon Carroll, a political science major, placed ninth out of 66. Both Lind and Carroll received "Best Witness" Awards.
The top three teams at the regional tournamentóDartmouth, Fordham and Yale ówill compete in the National Mock Trial Championships in Iowa in April.
"The turnaround has been huge," said team co-captain Kristen Pollak, a senior political science major. "It can be attributed to the fabulous coaching by the Fordham law students."
Two Brendan Moore Advocates, James Bulger and Noel Garcia, both third-year Fordham Law students, have been coaching the undergraduate mock trial team since September.
The Lincoln Center team was formed three years ago by a group of pre-law students. They competed in Manchester, Conn., the first year and at Princeton University in the second without much success, Pollak said.
During the competition, students present a trial, acting as attorneys and witnesses, before two judges. The judges, usually attorneys, professors or law school students, score the studentsí performances. There are four regional competitions a year, sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association. Students argue the case as the plaintiffs and the defense, giving them eight opportunities to win.