Club & Greek

Mock Trial Program to Host Inaugural “Hawk” Invitational

What started in the fall of 2012 as a small group of students interested in law school with a background in high school mock trial has developed at Monmouth University into a strong intercollegiate forensic program – one that prepares students for legal advocacy and trial procedure and more importantly, for life after Monmouth.  For the first time in its three-year program, and with the assistance of the pre-law club, the Monmouth mock trial team will host its first invitational tournament this weekend (December 6-7).

The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) program hosts 25 regional tournaments in the early part of the spring semester, enrolling approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges annually.  Teams of six to ten students participate in attorney and witness roles competing for “bids” from these regional tournaments to a series of eight “Opening Round Championship Series Tournaments” (ORCS) in the latter part of the spring semester.  A bid out of the ORCS tournaments culminates in the national championship tournament, this year taking place on April 17-19, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio hosted by the University of Cincinnati.  This year presents a civil case problem involving the unfortunate shooting of an 11-year-old by her friend. Students in attorney roles represented the parents in this fictitious case of Park v. Duran; other students portray challenging witness roles ranging from the next-door neighbor, clinical child psychologists and the parties (parents) themselves

In the fall, student teams work diligently in a series of invitational tournaments, honing trial strategies and witness performances, in preparation for regional competition.  This spring, Monmouth will compete in the New Haven, Connecticut regional hosted by Yale on February 7-8, 2015.  The Monmouth mock trial team has competed already in two invitational tournaments – one hosted by Drexel University (the First Annual Market Street Mock Trial Invitational) on October 25 and 26 and a second one hosted by Temple University (the Third Annual Hooter Mock Trial Invitational) on November 15 and 16.  The preparation thus far, in 2014-15 builds off of an impressive showing in the 2014-15 competition year, with two witness awards won by Cara Turcich (currently a graduate student in public policy and assistant mock trial team coach) and the spirit of AMTA award, symbolizing the team recognized by peer teams as the one representing the notions of professionalism and courtesy.  Sophomore team member Josh Manning won individual awards at the Hooter invitational for his performance both as a plaintiff attorney role as well as defense witness role.

The Monmouth University Pre-Law Club and Mock Trial team are happy to take the next step in establishing a recognized program in mock trial, by hosting the inaugural Jersey Shore “Hawk” mock trial invitational tournament with all rounds taking place in Bey Hall on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7. The tournament will be a two-two format with two rounds on Saturday and two rounds on Sunday and an awards ceremony following the fourth round on Sunday.  Competing institutions include Villanova University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, the University of Miami, Marymount Manhattan College, and Bowdoin College, to name a few.  The mock trial team and pre-law club welcome all members of the Monmouth community to come out and cheer on the team or just observe what mock trial is like.

Students are encouraged to contact Professor Bordelon if they are interested in competing or getting more information about Monmouth’s mock trial or moot court programs.  No experience is necessary except a passion for advocacy!    Practice schedules for the spring will be discussed at the first pre-law club meeting of the semester, tentatively scheduled for late January.