Hamilton’s Mock Trial team competed on Feb. 21-22 at the regional competition, held at Buffalo State University. This event determined whether the team would move forward to the opening round championship (ORCs) the weekend of March 6-8.
Hamilton faced tough competition throughout the tournament, going up against teams like Pennsylvania State University and Cornell, which are both nationally ranked teams. The team received positive feedback from judges all four rounds, all of which reaffirmed how spectacular the level of preparedness was on both sides.
The team described most trials as “clean,” meaning that Hamilton and its opponent had good arguments, and that the judges made impartial and understandable rulings on objections. One would hope that all trials would turn out this way, but that is not always the case. In the final trial, for example, the presiding judge would not allow for much argument on objections. While the team is well-prepared for any type of judge and any type of trial, it is always more frustrating to not have a “clean” trial, especially when the stakes are high, as it makes the outcome more unpredictable.
Ultimately, the team took ninth place out of 25 teams at this tournament after winning five of the total eight ballots. While only the top eight teams were guaranteed to advance to ORCs, the team does not count this as a defeat. In fact, every year there are “bonus bids” to ORCs, which are assigned to teams that did not place in the top eight at their regionals but still scored highly.
After returning from the tournament, Hamilton learned that it was sixth on the list for receiving a bonus bid based on its win record at Buffalo State and its high “competitive score” (this is based on how well the teams that Hamilton competed against did in the tournament). The team learned officially on Feb. 23 that it will be competing in ORCs March 6-8. The location is still to be determined.
In addition, two members of the team earned awards for their outstanding performance that weekend. Maggie McGuire ‘’15 earned a witness award for portraying the plaintiff of the case, the mother of a deceased child. Amber Groves ‘15 earned an award for her work as a plaintiff attorney.
In addition to co-captains Groves and McGuire the competing team members include: Ian Carradine ’15, Hunter Green ’16, Andrew Fischer ’17, Caroline Reppert ’17, Sam Weckenman ’17, Ryan Bloom ’18, and Conor O’Shea ’18.