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University of Wisconsin-Superior

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Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

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Mock Trial team tackles national legal case for 2013-2014

Posted on Oct 7, 2013
Over twenty-five students attended UW-Superior’s Mock Trial team welcoming sessions the second week of the semester.
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Mock Trial team tackles national legal case for 2013-2014

Over twenty-five students attended UW-Superior's Mock Trial team welcoming sessions the second week of the semester. Veteran captains Jeff Anderson, Kelsey German, Andy Hanson and Jordin Gegare coordinated the sessions. Newcomer Mock Trialers elected Allison Marble and Brandon Engblom as the final two captains of the team for 2013-2014.

Mock Trial is an academic, forensic, and competitive activity that allows students to engage in active learning about legal cases. Students engage in critical thinking, case development, strategy planning, argumentation, presentation and collaborative team skills during the full academic year. They present in front of practicing judges and attorneys to receive ongoing and professional feedback on their skills. Mockers meet a minimum of five hours per week for regular practice during the entire academic year. During tournament weeks, they practice more.

UW-Superior has generated regional and national award winning Mock Trial teams for the past ten years straight.

This year's AMTA national legal case involves the State of Midlands vs. Witt Bowman, a criminal case. On August 30, 2012, a robbery occurred at RacheterWorld (pronounced ROCK-ter) in Midlands. Following the robbery, a chase ensued, and former police officer and current RacheterWorld security guard Winston Thomas was struck by the front car of the "Tunnel of Terror" ride. Thomas suffered serious injuries and went into a coma, in which he remains on the date of trial. The robber whomThomas was chasing through the park escaped and remains at large, his whereabouts unknown. Police, however, have arrested Whit Bowman, a park employee whom they believe took part in the commission of the crime. Bowman faces multiple charges of robbery and theft by deception related to the August 30 incident and related alleged criminal activities. Is Bowman guilty of the offenses of robbery and theft by deception or is just a convenient patsy for the State of Midlands? This case will explore this question through provocative argument and intriguing witnesses.

UW-Superior is sending three squads to compete at the University of Minnesota UMNUMB Invitational the weekend of October 11-13, 2013. This leading invitational will be followed by tournaments at Macalester, St. Olaf, St. Thomas and potentially Loras. Regionals will be held at Macalester the second weekend in February 2014.

The campus will host the Durst Mock Trial Invitational (in honor of former coach Attorney Mike Durst) in Swenson Hall the weekend of December 6-8. The entire campus and community is invited to attend one-four rounds of competition to observe Mock Trial in action. Schedule details will be posted in November. Over twenty community legal practitioners will be judging the event as collaborative educators. Over twenty teams from around the nation will be competing at the Durst Invitational.

Team members for 2013-2014 include Jeff Anderson, Kelsey German, Andy Hanson, Jordin Gegare, Allison Marble, Brandon Engblom, Cody Chaffee, Kyle Johnson, Meagan Guptill, Mia Pikkala, Taylor Tengwall, Alex Rafael, Madeline Smith, Matt Munkelwitz, Yer Vang, Austin Danula, Cassy Foltz Albertson, Emmanual Tucker, Jr., Jessa McLeod, Jessica Schubring, Randy Bender and Turner Tomcyzk. These Mockers represent many majors and minors.

The UW-Superior team is coached by Dr. Maria Stalzer Wyant Cuzzo (Legal Studies) and practicing attorneys Mark Fruehauf, Julie Benfield and Mary Russell. Benfield and Russell are alumni of the UW-Superior Legal Studies program. All of the coaches are experienced Mock Trialers themselves and bring a cumulative twenty years of experience to the activity. The team is administratively supported by Margaret Johnson of HBJD.

For more information about Mock Trial, contact Maria Cuzzo at

Story by Maria Cuzzo.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Schubring.

News Contact: Margaret Johnson | 715-394-8433 | mjohns54{atuws}
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