Mock Trial Team Heads to Fla. For National Tournament

A Claremont McKenna College mock trial team has qualified for the National Mock Trial Tournament to be held March 11-13 in St. Petersburg, Fla., where team members will be required to incorporate supplemental case materials into their planning and presentations.

The honor follows on the heels of the Western Regional Mock Trial Tournament over President’s Day Weekend. Two CMC mock trial teams, designated by the numbers 732 and 733, distinguished themselves in the four-round competition. Ranked first after two rounds, CMC’s team 733 lost a fourth-round competition to the University of California, Los Angeles’ highest-ranked team, but still earned a bid to Nationals based on their strong win-loss record, point differentials, and strength of schedule.

Although Team 732 did not qualify for Nationals, three members of that team earned individual honors: team captain Tracey Katz ’07, Outstanding Attorney Award; Victoria Hargrave ’05, Outstanding Witness Award; and Sarah Potter ’08, Outstanding Witness Award. “We put forth our best effort in every round, and that effort was reflected in our scores,” Katz said. “The competition was tougher this year, and I’m very happy with how the team performed.”

Other team 732 members include Brian Davidson ’08, and Class of 2007 members Ilana Eydus, Daniel Simon, and Jenny Small.

Mock trial coach and CMC director of alumni relations Elenor Taylor ’81 said she was proud of the performances of CMC’s students at the Western Regional. “They presented their cases zealously and professionally, earning high praise and scores from the competition judges.”

Taylor credited the guidance of captains Katz and Michael Huang ’05, of team 733, for the success and convincing performances of both groups at the preliminary tournament. (Team 732 narrowly missed the cuts for Nationals by four points.)

“The teams brought their best performances to the competition and worked smoothly and cohesively throughout the tournament,” said mock trial participant Daniel Simon ’07.

Team 733 members Casey Baldwin, Angela Guzzetta, Michael Huang, Lydia Lee, Carrie Snow, and Jacque St. Romain (all seniors), and Class of 2008 members Chelsea Norell and Alexandra Tauchman, are now preparing for the national mock trial tournament.

“Unlike large universities, which may offer an actual course on mock trials, we meet for hours every day, on our own time,” says team captain Michael Huang. “With limited resources, attending an invitational tournament for experience is challenging. But all the members committed themselves this year and our efforts paid off.”

Huang said he also is confident that team 732’s individual successes will be followed by an energized comeback next year.