No Objections to this Mock Trial Team

Emily McGinty

They may not have a field or uniforms, but they are a team like any other. The University of New Haven’s Mock Trial team participates in competitions throughout the academic school year. Each round of competition consists of two teams performing a trial simulation; there are opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, closing arguments and rebuttals.

(Left to right) Lauren Ebersol, Jennifer Tremblay, Emily McGinty, Nelson Dillaway, Liana Teixeira, Amy Reidy, Dallas Newcomb, Dawn Marciano, Elle Cantelmo

The UNH Mock Trial team is a member of the American Mock Trial Association, which creates and distributes a yearly case for all registered colleges and universities. This year’s mock case was Andy Allen v. Neptune Underwater Expeditions, a civil liability suit regarding the death of Lee Allen, a scuba diver, on the Hepburn Expedition. The fictional Hepburn wreck became the center of news when a Hollywood legend disappeared and was later found killed. The two suspects for the murder were spotted aboard the Hepburn, and then the ship sunk and became a popular scuba diving spot.

Lee and Andy Allen signed up for a Neptune Underwater Expedition to the Hepburn. The trip ended in the death of Lee Allen. Andy Allen sued Neptune Underwater Expeditions for acting recklessly.

The UNH Mock Trial Team started their season before classes were even in session. Captains Liana Teixeira and Emily McGinty spent their summer ordering supplies, creating a schedule, contacting members and possible future members. When the case was released, the team started working on themes, witness choices and learning the law.

During the fall and spring semesters, the team practiced for five to six hours a week. Teixeira worked with the lawyers to teach objections, techniques for writing openings and closings, and the wording for directs and crosses. McGinty worked with witnesses making sure they knew their affidavits, public speaking and using emotion. Coaches Tom Geisler and Walt Bansley donated their time to give their knowledge and experience to help the team to prepare for future competitions.

In the fall semester, the UNH A and B teams scrimmaged against Southern Connecticut State University, in their own battle of Elm City. The UNH team came out on top winning both rounds of the competition. Members of the team were also chosen by the judges as top lawyers and witnesses.

After merely one week back on campus following winter break, the teams made their way to Quinnipiac University to participate in the annual Quock Tournament. This tournament included two Quinnipiac teams, Coast Guard Academy, University of Hartford and Southern Connecticut State, as well as both UNH teams. The University of New Haven A team reigned supreme and won the entire tournament.

The annual New Haven Regional tournament at Yale University was originally scheduled for Feb. 9 and 10; however, because of Storm Nemo the regional was postponed to the weekend of Feb. 23 and 24. With a hiccup in the season, the teams lost some of the members because of scheduling conflicts and created a new team. The new team consisted of Liana Teixeira, Emily McGinty, Elle Cantelmo, Nelson Dillaway, Lauren Ebersol, Dawn Marciano, Dallas Newcomb, Amy Reidy and Jennifer Tremblay. Twenty-one teams competed at the New Haven Regionals; of those teams, UNH team was paired against Queensborough Community College, Wellesley College, Fordham Rose Hill and Quinnipiac.

The team held their own and won two rounds of competition and tied another two. One of the captains, Emily McGinty, won an Outstanding Attorney Award, even ranking higher than some students from Yale University, Iona College, University of Pennsylvania and Brandeis University. Since its founding, this was the first time a UNH Mock Trial Team member had won a personal award at a Regional Tournament.

Although the team did not receive a bid to the next round in Pennsylvania, the captains were very proud of the team members’ hard work, and they cannot wait for next year.

Membership on the UNH Mock Trial Team is open to all students, regardless of major.

If anyone is interested in participating in the 2014 season, email [email protected] for more information.