Mockers to fill Swenson Hall this weekend

Posted on Nov 29, 2018
All rounds are open for viewing by the public and free to attend

Swenson Hall residents should prepare to see lots of professional suits and legal exhibits on campus this weekend for the annual Superior Durst Mock Trial Invitational tournament. This invitational is hosted by UW-Superior’s mock trial team and the Legal Studies/Criminal Justice Program. Over 150 collegiate mock trailers from around the upper Midwest will compete in the four round tournament. All rounds are free and open to the public. The competitive field includes teams from Hamline, Macalester, University of St. Francis, St. Thomas, UM-Morris, UMD, Loras, Cornell, UW- Eau Claire and Grinnell.

This tournament is dedicated to former mock trial coach and regional attorney Michael Durst. In addition, the outstanding performance awards for attorneys and witnesses are dedicated to award winning past mockers including Tony Gigliotti and Alex Pfannebecker. A new award for Outstanding Coaching is dedicated to Andrew J. Hanson, another Mock Trialer who went on to found a high school mock trial team and who recently passed away.
Bella Gigliotti practices her opening statement for Superior Durst Invitational
The mock trial team includes Bella Gigliotti, Kenneth Benz, Autumn Bass, Scott Holmes, Alex DeBlaey, Jeb Leone, Desiray Matthews, and Julian Williams. The team is coached by Maria Cuzzo, Eric Burr and Cassy Burr. The Burr’s are both former regional and national mock trial leaders who have now volunteered to coach the team. The team practices every Thursday and Sunday evening for a total of five hours additional time each week plus dyad and triad preparation and invitational time (60 hours straight per weekend of competition). The team has competed in three tournaments this fall semester including UM-Twin Cities, St. Paul Trials at Hamline University and Ole Open at St. Olaf in Northfield.

This year’s civil case is about negligence and involves a trained chimpanzee (Elias) who unexpectedly becomes aggressive during a rehearsal for a TV talk show and kills a set member.  The question is who’s responsible for the death? The jury weighs whether Danny Kosack, the animal trainer, may have failed to prepare the chimp for the show or Alex Grace, the talk show host, may have inappropriately reached out to Elias during the rehearsal. Filled with interesting witnesses and exhibits, the case will entertain and educate about the law and justice.UW-Superior is a member of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) along with over 650 other universities and colleges around the nation. After athletics, mock trial is the largest undergraduate activity in the country with over 5,200 college mockers involved. UW-Superior is the longest existing mock trial program in the UW System and has had the most competitive success over the past 25 years.

News Contact: Maria Cuzzo | 715-394-8482 | mcuzzo{atuws}
Mockers to fill Swenson Hall this weekend
Posted on Nov 29, 2018
All rounds are open for viewing by the public and free to attend
UW-Superior's Mock Trial team practices for a final time before the Superior Durst Invitational.

UW-Superior's Mock Trial team practices for a final time before the Superior Durst Invitational.

Tournament schedule

Friday, November 30
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Round I (Swenson Hall)

Saturday, December 1
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Round II
2:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Round III

Sunday, December 2
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Round IV
1 p.m.    Awards Ceremony in Erlenbach Hall

All rounds are open for viewing by the public. Please silence all cell phones and do not interact with the competitors during the round. Also, please do not enter or exit a courtroom until there is a natural break in the trial. All trials may last as long as three hours.