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Drexel Mock Trial Team Advances to National Tournament

PHILADELPHIA, February 25, 2011

Drexel University’s “A” team has advanced to the American Mock Trial Association’s national tournament after placing fourth in the regional qualifier held February 19-20.

Students on Drexel’s “A” team beat teams from Rutgers University and the University of Pennsylvania and split rounds with Temple University and Georgetown University to finish with a 6-2 record among  the 28 competing teams. The top eight teams from the regionals, hosted by Drexel at the Criminal Justice Center, advanced to the Opening Round Championship Series of the national tournament in Washington, D.C. to be held March 19-20.

Drexel’s “B” team also delivered a strong performance, with close losses to teams from Rutgers and Temple. “B” team captain Connor Hackert was recognized with a “Best Attorney” award.

Drexel’s success comes in just the third year of competing in AMTA events. “Our success at the regional tournament is a true testament to the dedication and talent of our team members,” said team president Chelsea Biemiller. “We regularly compete against Ivy League and other elite schools with large, well-established programs. This tournament has proven that we’re certainly a force to be reckoned with.”

The teams presented their case in simulated trials in four rounds over two days of competition. The students argued Davis v. HappyLand Toy Company, a hypothetical products liability case where it was alleged that the defendant manufactured a toy containing a toxic substance that caused the death of a 2-year-old child.

Local attorneys and judges evaluated the competing students based upon their courtroom demeanor, speaking and advocacy skill, knowledge of the rules of evidence and trial procedure, and their team’s overall strategy and case theory.

“Drexel’s Mock Trial success at the Philadelphia Regional would not have been possible without many hours of diligent preparation by the team members and coaches, or the generous support of the Steinbright Career Development Center, Earle Mack School of Law and the Philadelphia legal community,” said educator coach Grant Keener. “We are enormously proud of our student competitors.”

Teams competing in the Philadelphia Regional included Drexel, Penn, Temple, Villanova University, LaSalle University, Swarthmore College, Philadelphia University, Rutgers and Georgetown.

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News media contact:
Chris Silvestri, media associate, Drexel News Bureau
215-895-2705, 215-668-0780 (cell) or csilvestri@drexel.edu