AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Auburn University mock trial competition team has won a bid to the opening rounds of the national American Mock Trial Association tournament in Memphis, Tenn., at the end of March.
The Auburn team won the bid as a result of its performance during the regional tournament in February in Orlando. Team member Helen Agha received a “Best Attorney” award for her performance in the regional tournament.
More than 600 universities from around the country compete for the National AMTA title. Twenty-four mock trial teams competed in the Orlando regional tournament. In addition to Auburn’s team, teams from Furman University, the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida, Florida State University and Elon University received bids to the opening rounds of the national competition.
In a mock trial, each of two teams acts as either the plaintiff/prosecution or the defense. Each team has its own witnesses and attorneys; must be prepared to argue both sides of the case at the tournament; and presents its side of the case before three judges who score the teams based on performance.
Students on the Auburn team have received support from Auburn alumni who are members of the Lee, Montgomery and Jefferson County Bar Associations and who serve as judges and lawyers. The Auburn team is coached by Auburn municipal court judge Jim McLaughlin.
The mock trial competition class, offered by the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts each spring and taught by the team’s faculty advisor, Dorothy Wells Littleton, gives interested students a chance to learn more about the AMTA Rules of Evidence and Procedural Rules and to join the Auburn University team.
The College of Liberal Arts, the Pre-Law Scholars Program and the Department of Political Science support the team, which was formed in 2008 and has grown to include 27 students.
(Submitted by Vicky Santos.)