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Brandeis Mock Trial wins first gold bid to national tournament

By liorac

Section: Front Page, News

February 15, 2008

02150807.jpgBrandeis Mock Trial received its first bid to the Gold National Mock Trial Tournament at last weekend’s regional tournament at Boston University.

Mock Trial has earned silver bids to national tournaments in previous years.

Two of Brandeis’ four mock trial teams competed at the Boston University regional tournament. Team D, captained by attorneys Danielle Gewurz ’10 and Michelle Faits ’10, received the gold bid.

Other members include attorney Hannah Perlman ’11 and witnesses Leon Markovitz ’10, Danielle Ross ’09, Matt Zabinsky ’10, Jess Schaengold ’11 and Rob Gusrae ‘09.

Members of Team C received individual performance awards but did not place high enough to receive a bid. Nathan Hakimi ’11 and Liz Macedo ‘10 won witness awards and Ryan Fanning ’11 won an attorney award.

Teams A and B will compete at the Roger Williams regional tournament next week.

In addition to regional competitions, the American Mock Trial Association sponsors two national tournaments every year – gold and silver.

“Golds is pretty much the cream of the crop and Silvers, while still very excellent, is slightly below,” explained Mock Trial Vice-President Marissa Goodman ’09 via e-mail.

“Gold is where all the best teams in the country go,” Faits commented.

Normally, only two gold bids are given out to the top two teams at a regional competition, Faits said. However, because of Harvard’s presence at the BU regional competition, three gold bids were awarded to the top three teams.

Brandeis’ Team D placed third, earning the last available gold bid. Boston University and Villanova University took first and second. Harvard did not place high enough to receive a gold bid.

“We competed against Harvard’s A team and tied,” Faits said, “that’s different from what everyone was expecting.”

Team D also tied with BU, the tournament’s winner, and defeated Framingham State and University of Vermont.

“It especially feels good because we’re Team D,” Faits remarked, “we were expected to do the worst but we did amazingly well.”

Faits added that many of the members of Team D had not participated in mock trial before this year.

Goodman praised the rookie team. “The first year mock-trialers…have brought such great talent to our club,” she wrote.

Even so, not all members of Team D are guaranteed to compete at the Gold National Tournament in St. Paul, Minnesotta in April.

Faits explained that each university’s program is allowed only two bids to either gold or silver nationals. If a school earns more than two bids to either gold or silver nationals, the extra bids must be forfeited.

As such, schools are not required to send the members of a bid winning team to nationals.

Generally, schools will reshuffle their teams to send their best attorneys and witnesses.

“At Gold, we want to put our best foot forward,” Faits said. “It causes drama [to reshuffle the teams] but it makes sense.”

Faits emphasized the importance of placing well at a national competition.

“If we can say [we did well] at nationals to the administration or F-board, that gives more credibility to Mock Trial,” Faits added.

“We’re a fairly young program,” said Faits, “every year we try to get better…now we’re good enough to go to nationals.”

“It’s a historic event for us,” Goodman wrote, “I am ecstatic.”

Editor’s Note: Danielle Gewurz is a copy editor for The Hoot.

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