WASHINGTON, PA (Oct. 14, 2011)—Washington & Jefferson College is hosting its second annual Founding Fathers Mock Trial Invitational Oct. 15-16 in the Old Main Chapel and Howard J. Burnett Center.
A team from W&J will be joined in the courtroom competition by teams from American University, Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Temple University, Bowling Green State University, Michigan State University and Saint Vincent University.
“We are excited about this year’s event, particularly with the strong teams that will be participating,” said senior Doug Cannon, president of the W&J Mock Trial Team. “Many of these teams made it past regionals and into the opening round of the championship series last year. Bowling Green competed in the nationals.”
The opening ceremony of the Founding Fathers Invitational will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Old Main Chapel. Activities will then move to the “courthouse” in the Burnett Center, where the final round of competition is scheduled to conclude the following day at 5:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow at 6 p.m., Cannon added.
Cannon is expecting a strong showing by the W&J team. In its third year of competition, the W&J team is made up of a number of underclassmen, but with generally two teams for the season, each with a core group of leaders, including Cannon, Shane Rumbaugh, Brenden Kelley and Nick Guy, expectations are high.
Looking ahead, the weekend of Nov. 12-13, one W&J team will compete at a competition hosted by University of Pennsylvania while a second team will do the same at American University.
“While we may not be looked at as national contenders, our goal is to make our mark at the opening round of the championship series,” said Cannon, adding that the regional tournament is at the end of February, culminating with the national competition in April.
“Some other teams have the advantage of receiving guidance from graduate or law school students and faculty members. As an undergraduate institution, W&J offers the advantage of its liberal arts curriculum and from that, the team benefits,” Cannon said. “Furthermore, the experience and expertise of the team’s advisor, attorney James McCune (Bassi, McCune & Vreeland, P.C., Washington, Pa.) provides as excellent guidance for this team.”
With 20-25 active members of the club, Cannon said the W&J team is a “very tight-knit community.”