by Kendall Hardy
(editor’s note: Kendall Hardy is vice president of Millsaps Mock Trial)
Tenacity, astuteness, supportiveness and poise. Members of Millsaps Mock Trial strive for these characteristics in honor of its four founding women, and these characteristics have led the team to consistent success over the years. The success of Millsaps Mock Trial is currently at its highest—for the first time in the team’s history, Millsaps Mock Trial is sending two teams past Regionals to Opening Round Championships (ORCS), where they will compete for a bid to Nationals.
Every year, The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) creates a case problem that universities across the nation argue at competitions leading up to Regionals. Because there are no divisions within AMTA, Millsaps competed against teams like The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Alabama and Rhodes College—schools with thousands of students and strong academic programs. This year, the case is centered around criminal allegations of bribery at a casino. Teams alternate sides in between rounds, representing either the defendant and the state at any given tournament.
To prepare for Regionals, Millsaps Mock Trial’s 25 students practiced daily in the team’s newly installed courtroom, which is located in Murrah’s third floor annex and filled with furniture from the historic courthouse in Meridian, Mississippi, where landmark cases such as the James Meredith trials were held. Aside from practices, the team fundraises independently to send Millsaps Mock Trial teams around the South for tournaments hosted by schools like Florida State University and Baylor University, all in preparation for the competition season.
This year, the competition season began on Friday, February 19, with the first day of Regionals in Dallas, Texas and Jackson, Mississippi. Because Millsaps Mock Trial has 25 members this year, they were able to send three teams to Regionals. Two were assigned to Jackson, and one was assigned to Dallas. After difficult competition for all three teams, Millsaps Mock Trial emerged with its most successful record in history.
Team Purple placed second and Team Silver placed eighth at the Jackson Regionals, both earning bids to ORCS. In addition to the bids, Millsaps Purple and Silver came home with three individual awards for outstanding performances. Senior James Adamoli earned a witness award, and sophomore Pujan Patel and exiting senior Kevin Cole each earned attorney awards. Team White came home with an impressive record as well, finishing with a four-win, four-loss record—only one win away from qualifying for ORCS.
Millsaps Mock Trial’s next tournament will take place on March 18, 2016, in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information about the team and to show your support, follow Millsaps Mock Trial on Facebook and Instagram.