2015 MTSU TeamThe UAB Mock Trial Team went 6-2 and placed fifth in their division at the Mid-South Invitational Tournament this past weekend.  Middle Tennessee State University held the tournament on their campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and hosted 46 mock trial teams who all competed for the top spots.  UAB participated in all four rounds of the competition and outscored their opponents on six of the eight judges’ score sheets that determined the rounds.  They took both judges’ score sheets against University of Tennessee Knoxville, split 1-1 with Hamline University and Millsaps College, and then went on to sweep judges’ score sheets in the final round against an exceptionally talented Rhodes team.  UAB students Cooper Bailey and Zachary Carpenter also received individual awards for their performance as attorneys and witnesses at the tournament.

The UAB Mock Trial Team has been diligently preparing for this tournament since the beginning of the academic year.  It started with dividing the team into groups who analyzed a fictional case file posted by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA).  The groups then assigned team members to attorney and witness roles, and the groups performed full trials (often called “scrimmages”) against each other.  Two weeks ago, UAB hosted teams from the University of Alabama and Samford University for practice rounds in preparation for their invitational.  UAB alumni, local attorneys, and the teams’ coaches judged those scrimmages.  The coaches said they could not be more pleased with the result of all the team’s extensive preparation.

Zach Cooper AwardsThe UAB Mock Trial Team would like to thank all those who judged the scrimmage, judged at the Mid-South Invitational, and all the teams who we competed against in those rounds.  The team would especially like to thank founding coaches John Grimes and Jim Phillips for returning to judge, give critique, and help the team reach fighting condition.  Coaches Grimes and Phillips founded the Mock Trial Program in 1995, twenty years ago as of this year.  Under their leadership, the team won numerous regional tournaments and a national tournament in 2006.

The UAB Mock Trial Team will compete again at a scrimmage hosted by Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee on December 5-6.  Any students who are interested in joining the mock trial team are encouraged to contact us at uabmocktrial@gmail.com.  More Information can be found at www.uab.edu/mocktrial.

UAB Digital Media visited our mock trial team several times over the course of the last year.  They've completed an excellent video where they interview team captain and individual award-winning student attorney Zachary Carpenter.  The video gives potential students a glipse into the mock trial world, how Zack believes the experience will help him with his future plans, and the kind of comradery that team members often experience.

The Mock Trial Team wishes to thank those at UAB Digital Media for their hard work shooting and putting this video together.  The team is excited for the upcoming year.  As for the coach who was up until 3AM with Mr. Carpenter putting together demonstratives, he would like to assure all potential members our practices usually do not run that late.
ORCS Team PicThe UAB Mock Trial Team, which earned a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series, narrowly missed advancing to the final level of competition of the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) Tournament format for this competitive season.  UAB went 4-3-1 at the recent tournament held in Memphis, Tennessee on March 19-22, 2015.  Had the team won one additional ballot, the team would likely have advanced to the Championship Competition held in the Cincinnati, OH where the top 48 teams out of the 600 who competed would vie for the top spot.  The team is set to hold an Information Session for students interested in joining next year.  This session will be held on April 8, 2015 at 7:30PM in the UAB Mock Trial Courtroom (UBOB 226).

At the tournament, UAB faced Florida’s “A” team, Houston Baptist University, Xavier University, and Rhodes College’s “A” team.  The team rallied after losing to Florida in the first round and won both judge’s “ballots” or score sheets in the second round.  In the third round, the team won one judge’s ballot and tied the second.  In the final round, the team “split,” meaning that one judge’s ballot gave the round to host Rhodes College while the other judge gave the round to UAB.  At the conclusion of the tournament, Demarcus Williams again took home an individual award for his performance as an attorney.

ORCS CourthouseBecause of the kindness of Tennessee State Judges, courthouse security that worked the weekend, and others, the team was able to compete in the Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis.  Although the courthouse was built in 1910, the building maintains a beautiful appearance, which the team was pleased to have the privilege of using.  The team wishes to extend its thanks to Rhodes College, AMTA, attorney judges, and all who helped to make this a very well run tournament and a good experience for all who participated.

The team is already very excited for next year.  Students interested in joining the UAB Mock Trial Team for the 2015-2016 season can come to an Information Session scheduled for April 8, 2015, at 7:30PM in the UAB Mock Trial Courtroom (UBOB 226).  Refreshment, namely pizza, will be provided.  Students can also get more information about joining by visiting www.uabmocktrial.com or by contacting coaches Nathan Mays (nathanmays@gmail.com) and Joseph Dease (jdease@uab.edu).

Regionals2015The UAB Mock Trial Team has advanced out of the Regional Competition in held this past weekend, February 20-22, in Jackson, Mississippi.  The Regional Competition is the first level of competition in the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA’s) national tournament format.  The top teams at each tournament advance to the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) in March.  When the three-day regional tournament concluded on Sunday, UAB had a record of 5-3, the eighth-best finish at the tournament, and had earned a bid to ORCS.

In addition, Team Captain DeMarcus Williams was recognized as a top attorney.  In fact, Williams was the only attorney at the Regional who scored a “perfect 20.”  His 20 ranking meant that each judge who scored Williams on the plaintiff’s side of the case ranked him first among the attorneys in the trial competition round.

Finally, the team received an Honorable Mention in the running for the “Spirit of AMTA” award.  The Spirit of AMTA award goes to the team that “best exemplifies the ideals of honestly, civility, and fair play.”  Millsaps College narrowly edged out UAB for that award.

UAB will travel to Memphis, TN to compete in the next level of competition on March 20-22.  More information about the UAB Mock Trial Team can be found on this page.  Questions can be directed to team coaches Nathan Mays and Joseph Dease at nathanmays@gmail.com and jdease@uab.edu respectively.