Students Prepare for National Mock Trial Competition

Students at William Woods University will conduct three on-campus mock trials in preparation for national competition next month in Washington, D.C. The mock trials will be held Oct. 25, 27 and 29, all from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Bernard Weitzman Model Courtroom in the Burton Business Building on campus.

Mock trials allow students who might be interested in legal careers to experience what it is like to be a prosecuting or defense attorney arguing a case.

Two years ago, teams from WWU claimed both first and second in the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law National Mock Trial Competition. Last year, the university’s team came in second. Competing teams are all from large universities with law schools, making WWU’s accomplishment more significant.

The case to be tried on campus and in national competition is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Daniel Freedman. The trial will determine whether a young man (juvenile at the time) intentionally infected a previous girlfriend with AIDS. She is now dead and he denies ever having sexual intercourse with her.

The mock trial teams are:

Team One: Tyera Flanders of Waynesville, Mo., Tanner Coleman of Salem, Ark., Ryan Mansfield of Nixa, Mo., and Andrea Rosser of Foristell, Mo.

Team Two: Jonathon Kissinger of Tulsa, Okla., Matt Mueller of Hazelwood, Mo., Kelly McClure of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Whitney Guin of Rogersville, Mo.

Team Three: Margot Mandula of Chesterfield, Mo., Candice Upchurch of Fort Worth, Texas, Leslie Smith of Eldon, Mo., and Steffanie Ducher of St. Louis, Mo.

On Monday teams one and three will compete, Wednesday teams two and three and Friday teams one and three—which will allow each person to try his/her side of the case before going to Washington.

The National Mock Trial Competition will take place in Washington, D.C. during the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Conference, Mock Trial and Law Expo Nov. 3-7. Twenty-four teams are registered to compete, including three from William Woods.

Among the conference topics are: “What’s it like for First Year Law Students,” “Guerrilla Tactics – Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams,” “Fraternity and Sorority Recruitment Programs: Not Quantity vs. Quality,” “Every Question you Wanted to Ask about Law School, but Were Afraid to,” “Providing Public Service” and “Getting a Valuable Internship.”

To help pay for the trip to Washington, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Fraternity will hold its annual “Death by Chocolate” fund raiser. This year, they will sell chocolate items at the Fulton Community Center polling site during the election Nov. 2. They will also sell baked goods that evening as students gather in McNutt Campus Center for an election watch night.