Hamilton's Mock Trial team at the Opening Round Championship Tournament.

While many students spent their spring breaks travelling or relaxing at home, Hamilton’s Mock Trial team competed at the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) tournament (March 18-20) in Lancaster, Pa. ORCS is the final qualifier tournament before the National Championship Tournament (NCT), so the team faced its toughest competition of the season. While Hamilton’s team did not ultimately earn a bid to the NCT, they performed at a high level against other nationally ranked teams.

On the first day of competition, the team faced Yale University’s B team—but don’t let “B team” conjure memories of a JV sports team—Yale’s B team was just as charismatic and powerful as one might expect to see on an Ivy League A team. In this round, Hamilton and Yale each won one ballot, meaning they effectively tied.

The next day, Hamilton’s defense team competed in both rounds. They faced the University of Pennsylvania in the morning and Ohio State University’s B team in the afternoon. As with the first day, these trials were so evenly matched that Hamilton split each of the rounds, ending the day with a record of 3-3. At the end of the afternoon trial, the presiding judge complimented both teams, and remarked that if one were to “go into any courtroom in America, you wouldn’t see performances this good.”

On the final day of the tournament, Hamilton hit Cornell’s B team. All team members agreed that this was one of their best performances of the entire season; objection battles were engaging and detailed, witnesses were combative on cross examination without seeming biased, and everyone was, in all other ways, at the top of their game. This round resulted similarly to the others, with Hamilton losing one ballot and tying the other.

The six teams that advanced to the NCT from this tournament were, in order of rank, Cornell A, NYU B, University of Michigan B, Cornell B, Yale A, and University of Michigan A.

Since Hamilton did not advance to the NCT, this was the last competitive tournament of the year.  The team recognizes one of its co-captains and the only graduating member, Hunter Green ’16. Green has been instrumental to the group’s success and in training the team to be able to consistently keep pace with the best teams in the country.

The other competing team members at ORCS were: Co-captain Caroline Reppert ’17, Andrew Fischer ’17, Ryan Bloom ’18, Thomas Duda ’18, Conor O’Shea ’18, Rachel Dawson ’19, Samantha Gordon ’19, Brad Marston ’19 and Patrick McConnell ’19.

Hamilton’s Mock Trial team is currently organizing an on-campus exhibition with the University of Rochester (date to be determined).  An email will be sent to the Hamilton campus community once details are confirmed. For additional information, or if you are interested in being a judge or jury member, email moctrial@hamilton.edu.

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