Allena Wiggers, senior finance major from Winnsboro, LA, was awarded Best Attorney with the highest overall score of all attorneys in the competition. Adam Nettles, junior political science major from Pineville, received a Best Attorney award and Connor McCain, senior political science major from Winnsboro, won a Best Witness award. Connor was the only student to win a best witness award from both the prosecution and the defense side of the competition.
“Being recognized for my performance was an honor, especially after competing with some of the top teams in the country, such as the University of Texas,” says Allena Wiggers. “However, I couldn't have done it without the help of my coaches and teammates.”
ULM sent two teams to the competition, a Gold Team and a Maroon Team, to compete against teams from Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, Millsaps College, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Saint Thomas, and Howard Payne University.
The Gold team finished with a 4-4 record, with wins against the University of Texas at Dallas, Millsaps College, and Baylor University. The Gold Team was led by attorneys Adam Nettles, Olivia Sage, Jordan Jones, and Sarah Hayes. Rounding out the Gold Team and competing as witnesses were Jordan Johnson, Erin McManus, and Sarah Cheathem.
The Maroon Team was led by attorneys Allena Wiggers, Charles Dupree, Caleb Fenn, and Carsyn Smallwood. The Maroon Team witnesses were Connor McCain, Kris Chamberlain, Lauren Bertone, and Brianna Robertson. The ULM Maroon team finished with a 3-5 record, with wins against Howard Payne University and University of Texas at Dallas. Dorae Dadgar and Jeremy Jones also attended and participated for the tournament bye team.
“Both of our teams performed very well against some of the best Mock Trial programs in the nation. I am honored to be awarded as Best Witness, but I could not have won this award without the help from my directing attorneys Caleb Fenn and Charles Dupree,” McCain says. “Our team has put in a lot of hard work and we are confident that we produce results that reflect this work and represent ULM well.”
The squads are coached by attorneys Robert Noel and Kyle Moore, with assistance from graduate student Gabriel Silva. “I am very proud of how our students performed in their first competition of the year against some excellent schools,” said Noel.
ULM has been invited to compete in the Mid-South Invitational Mock Trial Tournament hosted by Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN on November 13-16, the Jackson Joust hosted by Mississippi College in Jackson, MS, and the Argo Invitational hosted by West Florida University in Pensacolam FL. ULM will host the 2nd Annual Warhawk Mock Trial Jamboree in the Spring on campus in the E. Orum Young Courtroom situated alongside Bayou Desiard.
ULM is the only university in the state of Louisiana that has fielded an active AMTA-affiliated mock trial team for the last three years. ULM is also the only university in the state to have competed at the Opening Round Championship Series of the AMTA National Championship. ULM’s Mock Trial Team was founded in 2013 by attorney Robert Noel, with assistance from political science professors Dr. Joshua Stockley and Dr. John Sutherlin. “By engaging in mock trial competitions with teams from other universities, students develop the critical thinking and critical speaking skills, as well as the knowledge of actual legal procedures, that are required to be successful in law school, graduate school, or even life,” says Dr. Stockley.
The American Mock Trial Association was founded in 1985 and is the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. AMTA sponsors regional and national-level competitions, as well as providing interesting and complex case materials for academic use. Presently, AMTA hosts 24 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments, and a national championship tournament each season. Approximately 600 teams from over 350 universities and colleges will compete in these tournaments.