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By Emily Carson ’14
St. Bonaventure University will host its second annual mock trial invitational this weekend.
The two-day, four-round “Friar Faceoff” will allow students the opportunity to participate in a fictional case provided by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). This year’s case will include theft and robbery at an amusement park, according to tournament director Alex Noguerola.
“At invitationals, [mock trial] teams come to prepare themselves for regional and national tournaments later in the year,” he said.
Other universities to participate in the event include University at Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, Buffalo State College, Colgate University, Canisius College, Binghamton University, Seton Hall University, Michigan State University, and SUNY Oneonta.
St. Bonaventure’s mock trial is offered both as a course, PHIL 324, in the fall semester and as a club in the spring.
“We have about 20 to 25 of our own [mock trial] students participating,” Noguerola said. “As for faculty, they will be acting as the judges alongside actual attorneys and scoring the schools on their presentation of the case.”
Other St. Bonaventure students will also participate in the event as volunteer judges. Each will be asked to either preside (rule on merits of the case) or score the participants on their performances.
“It is important for SBU mockers to participate in this event because it provides an excellent, and relatively inexpensive, opportunity to practice their skills against teams from other schools,” Dr. Steven Nuttall, professor of philosophy and advise of St. Bonaventure’s Mock Trial Team, said. “As for students not currently involved in mock trial, hosting the tournament allows those students a chance to find out what mock trial competition is all about.”
Noguerola hopes this year’s tournament will be just as successful as the last.
“Last year was quite successful for us being our first year. We had some obstacles to overcome, such as location and timing of the event,” he said. “Nonetheless, it was a great experience for our program to have hosted its first tournament and to put our name out there more.”
St. Bonaventure is one of the few universities in the area to host a mock trial invitational.
“We decided to host a tournament for a few reasons – to provide another experience in the area for teams to compete, to help advance the Center for Law and Society more, to fundraise, to provide our own team some experience without the need to travel and to help develop leaders in the club through their involvement in the tournament,” Noguerola said.
Trials will take place in Plassmann Hall and opening and closing ceremonies in the Dresser Auditorium of Murphy Professional Building.
“The tournament also provides an opportunity for area attorneys, some of whom are alumni, as well as faculty and staff, to involve themselves in the education of a group of students, many of whom will go on to law school and enter the legal profession,” Nuttall said. “Hosting the tournament allows us to showcase the university, not only the beauty of the campus, but the welcoming spirit of those who study and work here.”
Spectator spots are limited. Those who wish to watch the event should email Jessica Ungaro, assistant tournament director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We welcome any who are thinking about becoming fellow mockers, or who are just curious, to check us out,” Nuttall said. “The students on the team are highly motivated and dedicated to representing the university in a manner that should make all of us in university community proud.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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