RICHMOND – Eastern Kentucky University’s mock trial teams have competed strongly in the tournaments that took place during the fall semester of 2021 and are finalizing preparations for the regional competitions that will take place in February 2022.
At the 11th Annual Owl Classic hosted by Kennesaw State University in October, EKU placed first and third. Outstanding attorneys were Danielle Underwood, a paralegal major from Olive Hill, Ky., Ethan Fowlie, a major in fire protection engineering and arson investigation from St. Charles, Missouri, and Abbey Birch, majoring in political science from the Union, in Kentucky. Carley Frost, a sophomore political science student in London, Ky., Has been named an outstanding witness.
The team received an honorable mention at the Mockathon Invitational hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in October. Frost was again named an exceptional witness.
Illinois State University hosted its Back to Normal tournament in November, where EKU won Honorable Mention for the Spirit of AMTA Award, presented to the team that best exemplifies the ideals of honesty, civility and fairness. play.
The team placed first and third in their home tournament in November, called the Colonel Classic tournament. Ethan Fowlie won an Outstanding Lawyer Award while Kate Richardson, a political science major from Richmond, won an Outstanding Witness Award.
The mock trial is an opportunity for students to learn more about the justice system, develop their capacity for critical thinking, practice teamwork, and improve their communication skills. The teams are made up of competing students who prepare a criminal or civil case using materials provided by the American Mock Trial Association. Three lawyers and three witnesses compete in four rounds in a competition. Teams should be prepared to argue both sides of the case, as sides are selected immediately before the start of each round.
While the students in the mock trial all take the same class and spend time together preparing during class time, extensive preparation takes place outside of class.
“Each of us spends countless hours alone and in small groups outside of class honing and memorizing our material to make sure we are presenting our best work,” said Richardson, team captain.
The Covid has changed the atmosphere of the tournament over the past two years. EKU competed entirely online in the 2020-21 academic year, but some normalcy has returned with some tournaments hosting in-person events in the 2021-22 year. EKU competed both in person and online this semester.
Richardson said the team trained in both formats during the semester to make sure things went smoothly. The important thing for the team to remember, she said, is to make sure all exhibits and demonstrations translate well into the online format.
“We were successful in both formats,” she said. “There’s an energy in the in-person competition that the online format doesn’t capture. I am very proud of how safely and successfully we returned to face-to-face competitions. “
The EKU Mock Test Program is sponsored by the EKU College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. Faculty coaches include Dr Thomas Parker, Dr Lynnette Noblitt and Dr James Pennington from the Government Department and Ms Sarah Jo Jacobs from the EKU School of Music.