The Furman Mock Trial Team took fifth place in the Carol N. Ney National Mock Trial Tournament which was hosted on campus March 22-24.
Twenty-four teams participated in the three-day tourney, with the top six qualifying for the American Mock Trial National (ATMA) National Championships to be held April 12-14 in Washington, D.C. Duke University captured top honors with Villanova, Kennesaw State, Florida State, Furman and a second Duke team rounding out the top six.
A second Furman team finished seventh and narrowly missed qualifying for the ATMA championship round. Furman, a national mock trial power, has qualified for nationals 17 consecutive years.
Twelve trial rooms were set up on campus to accommodate the tournament.
“This year’s Ney field was especially tough”, said Glen Halva-Neubauer, director of mock trial tournament. “There were a large number of outstanding teams, including those from Duke, Georgia, W&L, Emory, and Elon.”
Halva-Neubauer credits Furman’s success in the competition to “an outstanding coaching staff composed entirely of folks with law degrees”, as well as “young people with unparalleled work ethics who are bursting with talent.”
This year’s coaching staff included Brad Rustin ‘03, Mark Fessler ‘05, Mitchell Goldsmith ‘06, Lindsay Builder ‘07, and Andrew Frederick ‘09, as well as Thomas Azar, Angie Littlejohn, the university’s legal advisor, and English professor Margaret Oakes.
Furman senior Ekow Bartels-Kodwo won an outstanding witness award, team captain Jessica Corey won an outstanding attorney award, and first-year student Shane Patel won an outstanding witness award.
“So many folks from throughout the university played a role in making the tournament a successful event, but especially Jim and Carol Ney, who supported the tournament financially, the many other law firms in towns that followed the Ney’s lead, and the 125 lawyers and judges who came to campus and volunteered their time.”
This was the sixteenth year that Furman has hosted one of the AMTA opening rounds.