Mock Trial teams score high at regional tournament

The Clark University Intercollegiate Mock Trial Teams performed well at the New England Regional Tournament that was held on the Clark campus Feb. 19-21, earning a trip to the sub-national tournament in Boston later this month.

At the tournament, which included 27 teams from 16 colleges and universities from throughout the region, students assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses; this year’s trial was a murder case.

Clark Team A won five ballots and lost three, finishing ninth among the 27 teams. Although the team missed an automatic qualifying bid to the next round of competition, it did eventually receive an at-large bid to the sub-national tournament, which will be at the Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston. Clark ranked second in the country among teams seeking the at-large bids.

Clark students received two individual awards at the regional tournament.  Clark junior Sylvie Lepeltier received two awards, for Best Attorney and Best Witness, along with a perfect score. She was the only student at the tournament to win both the Best Attorney and Best Witness awards.         

Team A had the toughest strength of schedule of any team at the tournament, scoring 2-0 against the Dartmouth College team that eventually finished fifth; 1-1 against the Wellesley College team that eventually finished eighth; and 1-1 against the Tufts University team that eventually finished eleventh.

Team B finished the regional tournament with a 3-5 record, losing to UMass Amherst and Colby College, while splitting ballots with Boston College. The members of the Clark team A are Kristen Bokhan ’10; Sylvie Lepeltier ’11; Lindsay Gemmell ’10; Hattie Krakow ’10; Calvin Choi ’12; Nick Haslam ’10; and Brendan Labbe ’13.   Members of Clark team B include Marcus DeVito ’11; Anastasia Tserkonis ’12; Matt Diamond ’12; Justin Leopold-Cohen ’13; Conor Pfeiffer ’11; Joey Danko ’13; Mike Potiker ’13; and Justin Raphaelson ’13.

The teams are coached by Steven Kennedy, a Clark alumnus and full-time litigation attorney who teaches a trial advocacy class to prepare students for participation on the intercollegiate mock trial teams. The teams and class are part of Clark’s Law and Society Program, directed by Mark C. Miller, professor of Government and International Relations

“We are all extremely proud of all the hard work that our mock trial students put into this endeavor,” Miller said. “I am sure that the team will represent the university quite well at the Boston tournament.” Clark last hosted the New England Regional Tournament in 2006.  In previous years, Clark teams have attended national tournaments held in Memphis, Tenn.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., as well as other cities around the nation. 

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