Mock Trial Team Knocks Out High-Ranking Competition at Ithaca Invitational

Created: February 16, 2016
Last Updated: October 21, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Feb. 16, 2016) – The Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) Mock Trial team gained recognition and accolades when it placed second at the Ithaca College Bomber Blitz Invitational in January.

This was W&J’s first time competing in the Ithaca Invitational, held Jan. 30 and 31, and the team’s success was all the more impressive given that the team currently does not have a coach.

Nathaniel Ecker ‘17, James Campese ‘17, Ethan Heller ’18 and Courtney Brennan ‘16 worked together to coordinate the attorney and witness roles for the team, and Ecker said the success of the team was truly a collaborative effort.

“We would not be able to succeed without everyone’s help,” Ecker said. “Mock trial is truly a team event.”

The competition consists of a mock trial of a fictitious court case. Each team is presented with a set of facts, witnesses, affidavits, interrogations, physical evidence, previous court orders and motions, and the federal rules of evidence. Students portray either an attorney or a witness; student “attorneys” conduct opening and closing statements, direct and cross examinations, and present their case in front of a jury of actual practicing attorneys.

W&J’s Mock Trial Team finished with a 7-1-0 record and came in second place overall, defeating teams from Swarthmore, Ithaca College, St. Bonaventure, and SUNY Geneseo. W&J finished ahead of teams from Amherst, Swarthmore, Colgate, King’s College and Ithaca.

Additionally, the team won several individual awards. Heller and Ecker won the tournament’s Top Attorney award, and Joseph Ulomi and Ecker won the tournament’s Top Witness Awards.

“The success of W&J’s mock trial team is certainly a testament to everyone’s hard work throughout the year,” Ecker said. “It’s a great feeling to take down some of the most prestigious schools in the nation … it really evidences the caliber of our school’s pre-law program.  As we continue to work on our case, in preparation for regionals, I have no doubt the our team will continue to improve.  This year our team’s goal is to advance all the way to nationals.”

W&J’s Mock Trial team will compete in a regional tournament Feb. 26 to 28 hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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