Miami Mock Trial places second in division, third overall at National Championship

By Susan Meikle, news and communications


Front row left to right: coach Jaime Glinka, All-American Katie O'Keeffe, Dani Kunkel, Adam Korn, Allie Cin, John Spear, All-American Samantha Hobbs, coach Lawrence Hilton. Back row left to right: Ben Sandlin, All-American Najeeb Ahmed, Imokhai Okolo, Austin Worrell, coaches Neal Schuett, Alex Block and Gus Lazares.

The Miami University James Lewis Family Mock Trial Program team placed second in their division and third overall at the 2016 American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament held in Greenville, South Carolina, April 15-17.

This is Miami’s ninth consecutive top 10, and third consecutive top five, finish at the national tournament.

Seniors Samantha Hobbs and Najeeb Ahmed, and junior Maria “Katie” O’Keeffe won All-American Witness Awards. This is the second All-American Witness Award for O’Keeffe, who also garnered the highest ranks for a witness in their division.

Forty-eight teams competed in the national tournament after starting the season with a field of more than 650 teams from more than 400 colleges and universities — making collegiate mock trial the largest academic competition in the country. 

The 48-team national championship field is divided into two 24-team fields with the two first-place teams playing for the national championship.  

The two divisional winners were the University of Virginia and Yale University. Yale won the 2016 National Championship.

Miami’s national championship team was coached by business legal studies professors and attorneys Neal Schuett, Jaime Glinka (Miami '10), Lawrence Hilton and Gus Lazares (Miami '10) and alumnus Alex Block (member of Miami's national tournament top 10 teams, 2011-2014). 


All-American Witness Award winners Katie O'Keeffe, Najeeb Ahmed and Samantha Hobbs.

The national championship team members: 
  • Najeeb Ahmed, senior finance major (All-Regional Witness Award).
  • Allie Cin, junior marketing major.
  • Samanatha Hobbs, senior French major (All-American Witness).
  • Adam Korn, junior philosophy major (All-Regional Witness Award).
  • Danielle "Dani" Kunkel, sophomore business economics major.
  • Imokhai Okolo, junior political science major.
  • Katie O’Keeffe, junior political science major, business legal studies minor (All-American Witness).
  • Ben Sandlin, senior chemistry major, business legal studies minor.
  • John Spear, senior chemistry and interdisciplinary business management double major.
  • Austin Worrell, sophomore political science major (All-Regional and All-ORCS Attorney Awards).

Miami's mock trial program fields four teams each year. This year's "A" and “B” teams received perfect scores and won first and second place, respectively, in the American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament held in Columbus Feb. 13-14.

The “B” team (see below) won first place in the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) held in Geneva, Illinois, March 12-14. The top six teams from each of the eight ORCS tournaments held around the country advanced to the national championship.

Miami’s national tournament team combined “A” and “B” team members.

Senior members of Miami's mock trial program and their post-graduation plans: 
  • Najeeb Ahmed, finance major from Perrysburg, will be joining KeyBanc Capital Markets in New York or Boston.
  • Elias Demeropolis, philosophy major from Cincinnati, plans to pursue graduate school in philosophy after graduation in December.
  • Samanatha Hobbs, French major from Marysville, will be attending the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
  • Christina Romine, international studies major from Grove City, will be attending William and Mary Law School.
  • Ben Sandlin, chemistry major and business legal studies minor from Cincinnati, will be attending the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
  • John Spear, chemistry and interdisciplinary business management double major from Chardon, will be attending graduate school in neuroscience at Baylor University.
James Lewis Family Mock Trial Program


Mock Trial "A" and "B" teams and coaches at the Regionals tournament in Columbus in February. Both teams received perfect scores of 8-0.

The coaching staff also includes business legal studies professors and attorneys Kate Bowling and Laura Powell, and Dan Herron, professor of business legal studies and founder and director of Miami's mock trial program.

The James Lewis Family Mock Trial Program is housed in the Farmer School of Business and coached by the business legal faculty in the department of finance.  The program is open to all undergraduate students, with a tryout in early September each year. 

For more information, go to

Miami has qualified teams to the Mock Trial National Tournament for 22 consecutive years, longer than any other program in the country except for Rhodes College.

Members of Mock Trial “B” team, first-place ORCS winner:
  • Allie Cin.
  • Samantha Hobbs.
  • Adam Korn.
  • Da'Rya McAllister, sophomore French and black world studies double major.
  • Tarah Mason, sophomore economics major.
  • Christina Romine.
  • Ryan Rugani, junior economics major.
  • Bella Seeburg, sophomore political science major (All-Regional Attorney Award).
  • Chase Shelton, sophomore political science major.

Henry Leaman, junior history major, is student executive director of MMT.