Mar 24, 2010    #032
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC Mock Trial team places first in St. Louis opening round tournament

Students compete in national championship tournament in April

One of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Pre-Law Program's Mock Trial teams placed first in the St. Louis opening round championship tournament of the American Mock Trial Association's (AMTA) national competition, held March 12-14 at Washington University. The 13-member team defeated 25 teams, including Washington University, the University of Iowa and Southern Methodist University.

Sponsored by the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and coached by Jessica Bernard - a visiting lecturer and partner at Kansas City law firm Ensz & Jester, P.C. - the team earned a bid to compete in AMTA's national championship tournament, which will take place April 16-18 in Memphis, Tenn. At that tournament, UMKC will compete against universities, such as Harvard, the University of Chicago, Northwestern and Georgetown.

UMKC's Mock Trial program is the only Missouri program that has earned a bid to compete in AMTA's national championship tournament.

"I am constantly encouraged and inspired by the grit, heart and passion of this team," Bernard said. "With each tournament win, students have further cemented UMKC Mock Trial's growing reputation as a highly competitive and well-respected program."

UMKC's other Mock Trial team won more than half its ballots at the St. Louis competition.

While all teams could compete at AMTA's February regional tournament in Topeka, Kan., not all teams earned the right to compete in the St. Louis opening round. Both UMKC teams earned bids to the opening round after their regional competition performances.

In addition to the win, four UMKC students received individual recognition for their portrayals of witnesses and attorneys. Senior and second-year competitor Irene Downs received recognition as a witness and attorney. Senior and third-year competitor Jennifer Kaminsky received recognition as an attorney. Jacquelyn Hoermann, a junior and second-year competitor, and Brittany Cook, a junior and first-year competitor, received recognition as top witnesses.

Try-outs for the 2010-2011 UMKC Mock Trial program will be held in the fall. Try-outs are open to all UMKC undergraduate students; no prior experience is necessary. For more information, contact the UMKC Pre-Law Advising Office at (816) 235-6094.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.


This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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