By: Rose Rucoba – Staff Writer
The UD Prelaw Program hosted the 15th Annual Dayton Flyer Invitational Mock Trial Tournament for the first time in 12 years Oct. 16 at Keller Hall.
Laura Hume, Ph.D., director of the UD Prelaw Program, planned the event, which aims to help prelaw students gain experience litigating cases.
Andrew Strauss, J.D., UD law school dean, made the opening remarks at the mock trial on Saturday.
“It was a pleasure for me to see so many undergraduates from UD and elsewhere directly experiencing what it is like to be a trial lawyer,” Strauss said to Flyer News. “The students were obviously very engaged, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of them in Keller Hall after they finish their undergraduate studies.”
The Dayton Flyer Invitational Mock Trial Tournament is part of a national program known as the American Mock Trial Association, in which students from schools across the country get the chance to work on cases and learn how to conduct a trial.
Seven universities participated in UD’s event: Duquesne University, Miami University, Ohio Northern University, University of Dayton, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Sullivan University.
Each school was given a fictional case at the beginning of the school year. The participants then had to work on arguing both sides of the case because they would be assigned to either prosecute or defend the accused on the day of the mock trial.
For this year’s case, two persons were accused of bribery in Midlands, a fictional town. The participants were given legal material based on Midlands’ laws and built an argument for both sides.
The American Mock Trial Association provided students with all the materials they needed, including statements from witnesses of the crime and persons who processed the evidence of the crime.
Participants were given the role of either attorney or witness. Those who were attorneys had confidently present their argument, while witnesses were expected to be committed to their character and stick to their statements.
The participants were coached by attorneys and evaluated during the competition by attorneys and judges. The team that presents the best case and has the best witness statements wins the ballots. At the end of the competition, the team with the most ballots won. This year’s winner was Miami University.
Despite the loss, senior Nikita Srivastava, one of UD’s mock trial captains, still told Flyer News, their “working and practicing mock trial non-stop” paid off.