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Miami mock trial wins first and second at ORCS; teams advance to national championship

Two teams from the Miami University James Lewis Family Mock Trial program placed first and second in the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) held in Hamilton March 14-16. They will go on to compete in the 48-team field in the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament hosted by the University of Central Florida April 11-13 in Orlando.  

Miami has now qualified teams to the Mock Trial National Tournament for 21 consecutive years — longer than any other program in the country except for Rhodes College — said Dan Herron, founder and executive director of Miami's mock trial program.

Mock Trial A-team

Members of Miami 's mock trial "A" team that won first place in the Opening Round Competition Series (ORCS) tournament. Miami has qualified teams to the Mock Trial National Tournament for 21 consecutive years, longer than any other program in the country except for Rhodes College.

Miami's top team was the only team to finish undefeated (8-0). The second Miami squad finished with a 6-1-1 record.  

Individual award winners were Alex Block, senior diplomacy and global politics major from Evanston, Ill., who received the top attorney award (he has won seven outstanding attorney awards in the 2013-2014 season); and Samantha Hobbs, first-year vocal music education major from Marysville, who received the top witness award.

Miami’s mock trial program hosted the ORCS in Hamilton, one of eight American Mock Trial Association Opening Round Championship Series tournaments held across the country. The top six teams from each opening round tournament move on to compete in the national championships. The other teams in the top six at the Hamilton ORCS were New York University (third place) and Ohio State, Syracuse and Cornell universities. 

Miami's first-place team also won the American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament in Washington, Pa., in February.  Team members are: seniors Alex Block, Claire Meikle, Deborah O'Neal, Brad Ouambo, Brandon Patterson, Allie Pickerill and Lauren Yates; and first-years Jazmine Kee, Katie O'Keeffe and Oliver Zoellner. (Team member and senior Zowoi Malakpa was not able to compete in the ORCS because he was at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Dallas, where he presented a poster on chemistry education research with faculty mentor Stacey Lowery Bretz. He will compete in the national tournament).

This team is coached by Dan Haughey, managing director of Miami's mock trial program, Butler County Area III judge, attorney and visiting assistant professor of business legal studies; and Neal Schuett, attorney and visiting assistant professor of business legal studies.

Mock Trial teams

Members of Miami's mock trial "A" and "B" teams that won first and second place in the ORCS tournament.

Miami's second-place team also won the regional tournament held in Cincinnati in February. Team members are juniors Matthew Meeks, Monika Mudd and Ben Sandlin; sophomores Najeeb Ahmed, Elias Demeropolis, Christina Romine and Johnny Spear; and first-years Samantha Hobbs, Henry Leaman and Reeti Pal.

This team is coached by attorney Lawrence Hilton and third-year law student Melissa Schuett.

Members of Miami’s two developmental teams qualified out of regional tournaments but could not compete in this tournament due to the two-team-per-program limitation. They helped host the ORCS Hamilton tournament, which was run by Alan Cook (Miami '08), Haughey and Herron.

Collegiate Mock Trial – largest academic competition in the country 

Starting with a field of more than 600 teams from more than 350 colleges and universities, 24 regional tournaments were held across the country with the top eight teams from each advancing to the ORCS. 

The National Championship field is now set at 48 teams.