Hamilton College competed in the 30th annual Mock Trial National Championship Tournament (NCT) in Cincinnati on April 16 - 19. The team took 32nd in the tournament, placing them in the top five percent of about 660 teams nationwide. While in the past, teams polished cases that they had been preparing for several months, this year teams were given an entirely new case, and only three weeks to prepare it.
The NCT case, Ginger v. Heisman, is a case of election fraud. The plaintiff, Elizabeth Ginger, alleges that the incumbent mayor, Max Heisman, abused her power as mayor and spread misinformation in order to keep lower income families from voting. While most agree that it is clear that fraud was committed, the main issue is whether or not it can be connected to the mayor.
At first Hamilton’s team worried that the new case would place them at a disadvantage against larger schools that had several teams and coaches to write material and develop case theories. In contrast, Hamilton has one team that is entirely student-run.
A highlight of the weekend for Hamilton’s team was Ian Carradine’s ’15 All-American Witness award. The All-American award is the highest individual honor that the American Mock Trial Association bestows on competitors. After four years of competing as a witness and earning over a dozen awards at other competitions, Carradine is proud to be Hamilton’s first All-American competitor.
Co-Captain Maggie McGuire ’15 reflected on the Hamilton team’s performance remarking, “I’m extremely proud of our team. This is the best season Hamilton has ever had.” This is true, not just because of the team’s performance at the NCT, but also because of its successes before nationals. Harvard was the tournament champion this year and only one team at the NCT had taken a ballot from Harvard. And before the NCT, there was only one other team to have done so the entire year: Hamilton. Members of Hamilton’s team are thrilled with their performance this the year and looking forward to next year’s season.
The competing team members at the NCT were: Co-Captains Amber Groves ’15 and Maggie McGuire ’15, Ian Carradine ’15, Hunter Green ’16, Andrew Fischer ’17, Caroline Reppert ’17, Samantha Weckenman ’17, Ryan Bloom ’18, and Conor O’Shea ’18.
The Mock Trial team will be hosting a small invitational with the University of Rochester on Sunday, April 26. There will be two trials, each of which are between two and three hours. In the first round, Hamilton will compete as the plaintiff and in the second round Hamilton will compete as the defense. For more specific details about the invitational this weekend please direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.