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Home > Mock Trial Team to Host Home Tournament

Mock Trial Team to Host Home Tournament Jan. 21-22

January 13th, 2011

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Members of last year's mock trial team (2009-2010)

Next weekend, January 21-22, Patrick Henry College will host its first home mock trial tournament. Dr. Frank Guliuzza, a PHC moot court coach who also serves on the executive board of the American Mock Trial Association, says that the tournament will provide PHC’s mock trial competitors with essential experience before they enter qualifying tournaments later in the spring.

“We’ve been so busy preparing for moot court [Nationals], we couldn’t travel to compete in mock trial in the fall,” he explains. “Whether our students win or lose at this tournament, they’ll find out what they need to improve.”

So far, colleges from across the country have signaled that they plan to attend, including Weber State University, where Dr. Guliuzza used to coach moot court and mock trial before moving to PHC. Weber State, says Dr. Guliuzza, has sent multiple teams to national mock trial competitions in the past.

For those students, in particular, who hope to one day attend law school, mock trial competition provides exceptional training and serves as an important supplement to an applicant’s portfolio, says Dr. Guliuzza. Whereas moot court imparts a deeper expertise in appellate law, simulating real arguments before the Supreme Court, mock trial imitates the initial hearings that establish the judicial record.

In order to compete at a high level in mock trial, Dr. Guliuzza explains, participants must play the roles of their characters, whether witness, district attorney, or defense counsel. This type of competition is much more theatrical than most of PHC’s other public speaking platforms, as participants often use accents and dramatic flourishes to render the appropriate effect.