Quinnipiac Mock Trial team advances to championship in Boston

By on February 26, 2019

The Quinnipiac Mock Trial Association argued its way into the opening round of the AMTA championship after its regional tournament on Feb. 16 and 17.

This is the team’s third time advancing onto the championship and its second year in a row. President Jordan Corbishley, a junior biology major, led it with an All Region Attorney Award. She was also named the top outstanding witness at the regional tournament.

Photo Courtesy of Jordan Corbishley
“While I am proud of myself for receiving the awards, I’m a lot more proud that our team was able to get a trophy and advance to the next round of competition,” Corbishley said.

Over the two days, the team accumulated a final score of 6-2, beating Yale, Dartmouth, University of New Haven and 19 other colleges and universities. The team members also include Neel Bains, Megan Corban, Joshua Delgado, Anthony, DiFabio, Kayla Kassim, Tyler Peruta, Sarah Smeriglio and Ethan Taveras.

This is Professor James Cresswell’s third year as the faculty advisor and coach of the team.

“The goal is essentially the same every year: blend new members with returning members and try to identify roles for competitors,” he said.

Each year, the American Mock Trial Association releases the court case for Mock Trial teams nationwide, alternating between criminal and civil cases each year.

At regionals, Quinnipiac started its rounds as a defendant in the court in the civil case “Midlands Television Studios v. Danny Kosack.” It won both rounds on the first day, lost the first round the second day, but finished strong with a win in the final round.

According to a mock trial Wikipedia fandom page, the case is concerned with fictitious character Danny Kosack, who was “scheduled to appear on the highly-rated show Midlands after Dark with Alex Grace with Elias, Kozack’s chimpanzee.” However, during a rehearsal, Elias attacks the show’s staff and kills Chris Villafana, a writer for the plaintiff.

All other details of the AMTA court case are classified and accessible only to official college teams.

The work is a lot, according to Corbishley. In order to advance to the Championship series, the team had to attend four trials, two per day.

“One trial, we will be plaintiff and the next trial of that day, we will be defendant. The next day, we do it all over again,” Corbishley said.

“Each round has two judges,” she added. “They score each person’s performance individually and at the end of the round, those are added up and the team with the highest number of points win, ultimately. Each round, you have the chance to win twice. One per judge.”

Most mock trial teams are usually broken up into A, B, C, D and even E teams. However, Corbishley found she wanted a different atmosphere. 

“We had two teams this year and I really just wanted them all to have an understanding of what mock trial was, to the point that they could execute it,” she said.

“Last year, we graduated several very talented competitors,” Cresswell said. “The development of the returning members into leaders and of the new members into reliable competitors created a very strong team by February.”

The next step will be really tough. Quinnipiac’s team is projected to go against prominent universities with proclaimed law schools such as Brown, Harvard, Yale and Columbia University.

“Ideally, I would like to win,” Corbishley said. “I would like to win at least four [round wins]. That would make it hopeful for us to get a spot at nationals.”

The Championship series will be held at Boston College on Mar. 16 and 17.

“Everyone really gave it their all and it showed,” Corbishley added. “Everyone is so talented and it really came out at regionals. This team deserves every bit of success that comes their way.”

Comments

About Garret Reich