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Mock Trial team advances to opening round of championship competition

Posted on Feb 13, 2012

A University of Wisconsin-Superior Mock Trial team placed fourth last weekend in the Upper Midwest Durst Memorial Tournament in Superior, earning a berth in the opening round of championship competition next month in Illinois.

UW-Superior's Black Team earned 6 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie in a highly competitive field of 24 teams. UW-Superior hosted the annual regional tournament.

UW-Superior's Mark Wick was one of two attorneys to score a perfect 20 points in the tournament to win a coveted Outstanding Attorney award on the prosecution side. Jeff Anderson continued his perfect winning streak (18 on prosecution and 17 on defense) as the only double side Outstanding Witness winner at the tournament. 

Mock Trial is an academic forensic activity that teaches students how to analyze the law and facts of a case, and to argue and present cases in a trial court. Many of the participating students are majoring in UW-Superior's Legal Studies or Criminal Justice programs. UW-Superior belongs to the American Mock Trial Association and is one of more than 350 universities in the country that take part in mock trial competition.

Most of UW-Superior's team members earned Outstanding Attorney or Outstanding Witness individual nominations during at least one round of competition.  Members of the Black Team include Jeff Anderson, Brandt Devich, Alicia Kline, Jake Lindberg, Samantha Meyers, Taylor Tengwall, Yer Vang and Mark Wick. 

UW-Superior's Black Team now advances to the Opening Round Championship Series AMTA Tournament set for March 9-11 in Waukegan, Ill. That tournament brings together 24 top teams from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan to compete for six coveted slots to the National Mock Trial tournament in St. Paul in April. 

UW-Superior's Gold Team also competed in the Durst tournament and compiled a record of 1 win, 5 losses and 2 ties. Gold team's primary purpose is developing mock trial skills. Team members include  Rebecca Anderson, Cody Chaffee, Elliot Charette, Brian DeMar, Jordin Gegare, Kelsey German, Elizabeth Ledin, and Colin Pasterski. 

The mock trial teams are coached by Dr. Maria Cuzzo, of UW-Superior's Legal Studies program; Tracy Schramm, of the Bateman and Schramm Law Firm; Mark Fruehauf, Douglas County district attorney; and Julie Johnson Benfield, Sixth Judicial District Court clerk. Schramm and Benfield are mock trial alumni from UW-Superior who are now practicing attorneys. 

Twenty-four teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin competed in the Durst tournament for the privilege of continued national competition.  The tournament is dedicated to Attorney Michael Durst of Superior (former Mock Trial coach) and the Outstanding Attorney Award is dedicated to Tony Gigliotti, a former Mock Trialer at UW-Superior. 

Participating universities included St. Norbert College, College of St. John's/St. Benedict, Macalester College, Bemidji State, Hamline, UM-Duluth, UM-Morris, St. Catherine, UW-Superior, UW-LaCrosse, St. Thomas, St. Olaf, Concordia, UM Twin Cities, and Carleton.  This was an American Mock Trial Association-sponsored regional event.  

More than 40 legal professionals volunteered to judge at the tournament, creating a significant university-community partnership to support undergraduate learning about law. Attorneys, sitting judges, mediators, court personnel and law enforcement professionals all participated in judging individual rounds of competition. 

In addition, many UW-Superior Legal Studies alumni and former mock trial participants return each year to judge the tournament. Many of them are now practicing professionals in law, insurance, law enforcement, legal journalism, non-profit organizations, government and many other venues of work.  The UW-Superior Advancement Office and the Legal Studies program hosted a Mock Trial Reunion on Saturday evening in YU for about 20 returning alumni. 





News Contact: Al Miller | 715-394-8260 | amiller{atuws}
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