Dec. 9, 2005
Morningside College’s Mock Trial Team competed against teams from Columbia University, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Yale University in the 10th Annual Yale Invitational Mock Trial Tournament held on Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4, on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Morningside’s Mock Trial team tied rounds one through three with these schools but lost round four to a second team from Columbia. Only the top five competing pairs, or top ten schools, from each division, were ranked. Morningside narrowly missed this elite group, making the sixth pairing after the third round.
Samantha Wenger, (left), a Morningside College sophomore from Danbury, Iowa, received an award as an Outstanding Witness for the tournament.
Dr. Lillian Lopéz, (right), associate professor of history and political science and faculty advisor for the team, said, “Our students competed very well against these tough schools. It was wonderful to have Morningside’s name with these Ivy League schools.”
The tournament, billed as the largest intercollegiate mock trial tournament in the nation, included 68 college and university mock trial teams from across the country.
In addition to Wenger, other members of Morningside’s Mock Trial team who competed in the tournament include Zachary Hindman, Casaday Nguyen, and Tara Tripplet of Sioux City; Jill Bohnker of Underwood, Iowa; Scott Corrie of Battle Creek, Iowa; and Amanda Leu of Spencer, Iowa.
Lawyer-coaches for the team are Alan E. Fredregill and Daniel B. Shuck, partners in the law firm of Heidman, Redmond, Fredregill, Patterson, Plaza, Dykstra, and Prahl, LLP in Sioux City.
The tournament consisted of four rounds of competition with students competing twice as plaintiffs and twice as defendants. Students played the roles of both attorneys and witnesses in a hypothetical criminal case involving a defendant accused of kidnapping his best friend’s child. Attorneys and judges from throughout the state of Connecticut volunteered to adjudicate the rounds.
Schools participating in the tournament included: Amherst College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, California University of Pennsylvania, Central Missouri State University, Clark University, United States Coast Guard Academy, College of the Holy Cross, Columbia University, Dickinson College, Drake University, Harvard University, Lewis University, New York University, Northwood University, Princeton University, George Washington University, University of California-Irvine, University of Central Florida, University of Maryland-College Park, University of New Hampshire, University of Pittsburgh, University of Redlands, University of Richmond, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wellesley College, and Yale University.
The undergraduate mock trial program was first organized in 1985 at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. Its purpose is to give undergraduate students an opportunity to learn first hand about the work of trial attorneys, understand the judicial system, develop critical thinking, and enhance communication skills.