Miami mock trial wins ORCS, team advances to national championship tournament

The Miami University James Lewis Family Mock Trial program placed first in the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) held in Louisville, Ky., March 13-15. The winning team will compete in the 48-team field in the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament hosted by the University of Cincinnati April 17-19.  

Miami has now qualified teams to the Mock Trial National Tournament each year since 1995  - longer than any other program in the country except for Rhodes College. The program was founded in 1994 by Dan Herron, professor of business legal studies and current executive director of the program.

Miami's qualifying team was the only one to finish with a 7-1 record at the Louisville ORCS, 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 championship.

Miami's senior team won the American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament held at Miami in February. They received honorable mention at the Louisville ORCS, missing a bid to the national tournament by one point.

Individual award winners at the Louisville ORCS were: Jazmine Kee and Najeeb Ahmed, outstanding witness awards; and John Spear, outstanding attorney award.


Members and coaches of the Miami mock trial team that won the Louisville Opening Round Competition Series (ORCS) Tournament 

Members of Miami's mock trial qualifying team that won first place in the ORCS (all but one are second-year students):

Jazmine Kee, international studies and media and culture double major

Adam Korn, philosophy major

Danielle Kunkel, business economics major

Henry Leaman, history major, business legal studies minor

Julia Luna, political science major

Katie O'Keeffe, political science major, business legal studies minor

Imokhai Okolo, political science major

Reeti Pal, zoology and pre-medical studies double major

Spencer Tackett, strategic communication major, business legal studies minor

Oliver Zoellner, junior diplomacy and global affairs and German double major

Coaches: business legal studies visiting assistant professors and attorneys Neal Schuett and Jamie Glinka (Miami '10)

Members of Miami's senior team that placed first in the regional competition:

Najeeb Ahmed, junior finance major, political science minor

Elias Demeropolis, junior philosophy, political science and linguistics triple major

Samantha Hobbs, second-year French major, marketing minor

Matthew Meeks, senior zoology major, global health minor

Monika Mudd, senior English literature and history double major

Christina Romine, junior international studies major

Ben Sandlin, senior chemistry major, business legal studies minor

Taylor Seay, senior strategic communication and political science double major

John Spear, junior interdisciplinary business management and chemistry double major

Zachary Stevens, senior finance major

Coaches: business legal studies visiting assistant professors and attorneys Lawrence Hilton and Gus Lazares (Miami '10)

The mock trial program coaching staff also includes Herron, business legal studies professor and attorney Laura Powell and fifth-year seniors Alex Block and Zoebedeh Malakpa, members of Miami's national tournament top 10 teams, 2011-2014.

Collegiate Mock Trial – largest academic competition in the country 

Starting with a field of approximately 600 teams from more than 350 colleges and universities, 25 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.