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W&L Mock Trial Team Claims 2nd at Major Event

Washington and Lee’s Mock Trial “A” team won second place at the Eighth Annual Great American Mock Trial Invitational (GAMTI) in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Only 23 out of the 600 mock trial teams in the U.S. were invited to compete in the invitational, hosted by the University of Virginia.

During the two-day tournament, each team competed in four trials, two rounds as prosecution and two rounds as defense.  Rounds followed standard court procedure, with a jury and presiding judge. The trial took place at the Moultrie Courthouse in downtown Washington.

The W&L team finished behind the University of Virginia’s “A” team and ahead of the University of Georgia, Virginia’s “B” team and Duke University.

The W&L team faced some challenges in making it to the top.  While other teams started preparing in August, W&L had one less month to practice for the trial due to its academic calendar.

Matt Rasmussen, a third-year law student, assisted the team in preparation for the invitational.  Rasmussen commended the students on their commitment to Mock Trial. “The team spent the week before the competition running practices once a day for several hours,” he said. “They are an extremely gifted and dedicated group who come to practice every day ready to work.”

The “A” team had only three returning members from a year ago: Chris Schneck, a senior from Exton, Pa., who is president of W&L’s Mock Trial and captain of the “A” team; junior Nate Reisinger of Urbana, Ohio, external vice president; and junior Abbie Caudill of Urbana, Ohio, internal vice president.  The remaining five members of the team include four first-years, John Houser of Chaptico, Md., Samantha Sisler of Worcester, Pa., Elizabeth Elium of Garrettsville, Ohio, and Jackie Yarbro of Suwanee, Ga. Christina Lowry of Lexington is the lone sophomore member.

Schneck, the only senior who competed at GAMTI, believes that the young Mock Trial team has promise. “Despite our inexperience, we were still able to take second at GAMTI. This is a great sign for the future.”

The team will again compete in Durham, N.C., on the weekend of November 18-20.

To learn more about the Mock Trial team at Washington and Lee, visit their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/wlumocktrial, or follow them on Twitter, mockeybalboa@twitter.

— by Heyward Brockinton ’12