The UW-Superior Mock Trial Team 1001 won FIRST PLACE at the Durst Memorial Mock Trial Invitational held on campus this past weekend. Over 180 people took part in the event.
Their record was 7-1 and they bested a field of high quality Mock Trial universities including the University of Minnesota, Macalester, St. John's/St. Benedict's, UMD, Iowa State, St. Catherine's, St. Thomas, University of Iowa, and St. Olaf.
Cody Chaffee and Meagan Guptill won Outstanding Attorney awards. Over 40 legal professionals (judges, lawyers and Mock Trial alumni) judged at the tournament making it the largest community outreach event affiliated with Legal Studies. We were the only university to produce this kind of quality professional judging pool this fall.
Team 1001 includes Taylor Tengwall, Emmanuel Tucker II, Cody Chaffee, Andy Hanson, Austin Danula, Alex Rafael, Kyle Johnson, and Cassy Burr.
Team 1002 finished the invitational with a 3-5 record, losing close ballots throughout the tournament. This is our learning team and they faced some of the stiffest competition in the field. Team 1002 members include Matt Munkelwitz, Yer Vang, Allison Marble, Jessica Schubring, Brandon Engblom, Jessa McLeod, Turner Tomczyk and Meagan Guptill.
Emmanuel Tucker II serves as President, Taylor Tengwall is Vice President, Andrew Hanson is Secretary, Cody Chaffee is Treasurer and Allison Marble/Brandon Engblom serve as Newcomer Captain leaders for Mock Trial.
This tournament was dedicated to our former attorney coach, Mike Durst of Superior, WI, who passed away a number of years ago. Mike helped build our Mock Trial program and contributed many volunteer hours in helping UW-Superior students learn about the law. He exemplified the idea of community learning partnership and volunteerism by coaching our team. The tournament is dedicated to him.
Our Outstanding Attorney award is dedicated to Tony Gigliotti, a former Mocker who was tragically killed in a car accident prior to his graduation. We commemorate his love of Mock Trial and his dream to be an attorney by dedicating the attorney award to him.
Many family members and friends observed rounds of Mock Trial in Swenson Hall during the weekend.
Over 45 area attorneys and judges came to Swenson to provide external scored assessment for each round. Mock Trial provides external judged assessment of knowledge, skills and capacities completed by seasoned professionals in the field. The students are scored and evaluated every week. This was one of the LARGEST community based events affiliated with Legal Studies and the university that successfully draws in area legal professionals to share their expertise with students.
This year's case is a criminal case involving robbery and theft by deception charges at an amusement park in Midlands. A park security guard was seriously injured as he chased the suspect who committed the robbery. The suspect has now fled the region and is unavailable for trial but his friend, Witt Bowman (another park employee), is now charged with both offenses. Was Witt involved? Who planned and executed this swindle and robbery? It's an interesting case.
Mock Trial was supported by a great team of custodial staff including Ron (Buck) Learn, Dave Polaski, Steve Keister, Joe Brannan-Swenson 3rd, Scott Seaquist-Swenson 1st, Joel Murashie-Swenson 2nd and Mike Kapalin. Margaret Johnson of Legal Studies provided logistical support. Stacy Leno always supports our work with quality demonstratives for trial and promotional posters. Campus Safety helped all weekend to ensure that Swenson and rooms were open and accessible. It takes a village to organize a tournament of this size and Mock Trial THANKS these members of our campus community that helped.
The tabulation room was coordinated by Maria Cuzzo and included Dick Lesicko (head coach of Macalester College Mock Trial), Mark Fruehauf, Mary Russell and Julie Benfield. Cuzzo, Fruehauf, Russell and Benfield also coach UW-Superior Mock Trial.
Mock Trial is a forensic, academic and competitive activity that teaches undergraduate students how to analyze, design, present and defend a case before the trial court of Midlands, a hypothetical jurisdiction. Over 550 teams from 350 universities in the US are members of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) and the Durst invitational was one of 34 AMTA sanctioned invitationals held throughout the academic year.
Congratulations to the Mockers!
UW-Superior next competes in January at three tournaments: St. Thomas Law School, Loras College in Iowa and USF Midwest Challenge in Joliet, IL. Regionals will be held the second weekend in February at Macalester. During regionals, the top eight best teams from the Upper Midwest will qualify for national competition.
Story and photo provided by Maria Cuzzo