Eastern Michigan University hosted the 4th annual Great Lakes Mock Trial Invitational over the weekend.
The tournament consisted of two rounds of mock trials each day, and took up the entire third and fourth floors of Pray-Harrold. The university hosted 26 teams from 15 colleges, with over 150 students competing.
Professor Mark Maironis, the tournament director, talked about what goes into getting a tournament like this together.
“We will be conducting 13 simultaneous mock trials during each round,” Maironis said. “We have plenty of major schools coming this year, including the University of Michigan, Notre Dame and the University of California-Los Angeles.”
However, the types of schools ranged from research one schools to EMU’s peer institutions like Western Michigan University and Bowling Green State University.
This tournament is about halfway through the mock trial invitational season, in which teams travel the country to compete in tournaments hosted by schools. In February, the teams will compete in the first official American Mock Trial Association tournament.
The competition involves teams competing against each other in faux trials, using cases developed by AMTA. One team plays the part of the plaintiff’s attorneys and witnesses and the other plays the same parts for the defense. Teams are timed and must obey rules for what may be said and used as evidence.
EMU alumni acted as the judges for this trial, including a number of local area judges, and university President Susan Martin attended the opening ceremonies. She wished all the teams good luck and praised the university’s academic teams.
Students involved in the program are excited about this tournament, as well as the rest of the mock trial season.
“It is good to see so many major universities here,” William McDonald, a vice president of the team, said. “It shows where our program is, that we are generating so much interest and after last year I think we are in a position to succeed.”