|Front, left to right: Aimee Corporon, Amber Clausen, Tara Triplett. Second row, left to right: Dr. Lillian Lopez, Casady Nguyen, Zachary Hindman, Jill Bohnker, Samantha Wenger.
Morningside College’s Mock Trial Team No. 522 took first place in the Great Midwest Regional Mock Trial Tournament held Jan. 26 - 27, at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. The team will now be one of only two teams in the region to advance to the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) National Championship Tournament to be held April 13-15, at Stetson University Law School in St. Petersburg, Fla. Only the top 50 teams in the nation qualify for the national tournament.
“Participating in this elite championship tournament brings national recognition to the Morningside mock trial program and more importantly, gives our students an opportunity to compete with some of the best students in the nation,” said Dr. Lillian Lopez, associate professor of history and political science at Morningside. Lopez serves as education coach for Morningside’s mock trial teams.
Morningside’s Mock Trial Team No. 522 finished the tournament with a record of seven wins and one loss. Winning rounds were posted against Benedictine University of Illinois and two different teams from the University of Iowa. Morningside split a round against Loras College.
Eighteen mock trial teams from 11 colleges and universities in the Great Midwest Region participated in the tournament. Other schools participating in the tournament included Coe College, Cornell College, Grinnell College, Iowa State University, and St. Ambrose University in Iowa, the University of Illinois, and the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. The tournament consisted of four rounds of competition with students competing as plaintiffs and as defendants. Students played the roles of both attorneys and witnesses in the hypothetical civil rights case “Jeffries v. Polk County Police.”
In addition, four Morningside students received special awards at the regional tournament. Lindsay Smith, a senior from Liberty, Mo., and Zachary Hindman, a senior from Sioux City, received awards as outstanding attorneys. Tara Triplett, a senior from Sioux City, and Samantha Wenger, a senior from Danbury, Iowa, received awards as outstanding witnesses.
In addition to Hindman, Triplett, and Wenger, additional members of Morningside’s Mock Trial Team No. 522 include Amber Clausen and Casaday Nguyen, Sioux City; Jill Bohnker, Underwood, Iowa; and Aimee Corporon, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Morningside’s Mock Trial Team No. 523 also participated in the tournament. Members of Team No. 523 include Smith; Anita Bentson, Sioux City; Nicole Cleveland, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; Scott Corrie, Battle Creek, Iowa; Katie Kotlik, Bellevue, Neb.; Jennifer Roeman, Rock Rapids, Iowa; and Tucker Tejkl, Leigh, Neb.
Lawyer-coach for the teams is Daniel B. Shuck, partner in the law firm of Heidman, Redmond, Fredregill, Patterson, Plaza, Dykstra, and Prahl LLP in Sioux City.