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ULM Mock Trial Team headed to national championship for 5th year

Published February 12, 2019

For the fifth straight year, the University of Louisiana Monroe’s mock trial team finished as one the top teams at the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) Regional Tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas on February 8-10 in Dallas, TX. The result qualifies the Gold and Maroon squad for the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) hosted by Rhodes College in Memphis, TN on March 15-17. This is the first time in school history that two squads from ULM have simultaneously qualified for ORCS, as ULM is the only university from Louisiana to qualify for the opening round of the national championship in each of the last five years.

Some members of the ULM mock trial team in a courtroom. 

The Gold squad finished third overall at regionals with a 7-1 record, defeating the University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, Rhodes College, and Southwestern University. Additionally, the Gold squad won the Spirit of AMTA Award, given to the team that best exemplifies the ideals of civility, justice, and fair play. Isiah Chavis, an attorney for the Gold squad, won a best attorney award. Competing for the Gold Squad were Jorden Johnson (Sr. Monroe), Isiah Chavis, (Jr. Layette), Cameron Ott (Jr. West Monroe), Uchechi Owunna (Fr. Nigeria), Antonia Harris, (Sr. Alexandria), Nautica Jones (Fr. St. Martinville), Aakriti Pant (Fr. Nepal).

Bob Noel, “I am so proud of our students. They worked tirelessly all year long with the goal of qualifying for ORCS. In spite of some adversity, they never quit. In spite of winning tournaments, they never grew over confident. In the end, we proved once again that ULM is one the best teams in the nation.” Over 900 teams competed in regional tournaments, but less than 200 advanced to ORCS. 

Isiah Chavis, “This weekend proved how dangerous we are. We improved every round, and it showed. We obviously have a lot of work ahead, but there’s no doubt that ULM will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming competition”

Jorden Johnson, “I am extremely proud of the success both teams achieved this weekend. We stressed to our new members that if we did not give 100%, then this would be the end of our season. They responded by giving some of the best performances of the year. We are all dedicated to this program and I feel confident we may be the first team to make it all the way to the final national championship round.”

Sarah Cheathem, “The success that both mock trial teams had this weekend is a result of hard work and team effort. I am very happy that my last year on the team is with a trip to ORCS.” 

The Maroon squad advanced with a 5-3 record, defeating Austin College, Rhodes College, and Texas A&M University. Representing ULM’s Maroon squad were Eli Bell (Sr. Rayville), Olivia Myers (Jr. West Monroe), Shelby Joyner (Sr. West Monroe), Lydia Mills (Jr. Greenwood), Evan Hebert (Jr. Monroe), Rebecca Pittman (So. Vivian), and Emma Brunel (Jr., France).

Lydia Mills, “This competition had its ups and downs and there were times when we did not think we would qualify; however, in the end, we never quit, we stuck to our strategy, and we won.”

Emma Brunel, “This weekend was a long one, with a lot of ups and downs, but with only one goal – making it to nationals. There were uncertainties and frustrations, but we stayed focused and we succeeded.”

Shelby Joyner, “ULM mock trial truly shined this past weekend. We came in with a great attitude and high expectations. We had a great start off, but struggled in the middle rounds. However, our confidence allowed us to stand out from the rest and finish strong with a sweep against Texas A&M. We proved we could rise above anything thrown our way. I am so proud to lead the Maroon squad into nationals in Memphis, and I know that we will go out and leave a good impression for ULM everywhere we compete. I’m so blessed to be a part of this team; we are going to do great things in the future!”

Attorneys Bob Noel and Kyle Moore coach the ULM mock trial teams, which won three tournaments in this competition year – the Jackson Joust hosted by Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, the Nordic Undergraduate Mock Trial Battle hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, and the Kangaroo Brawl hosted by Austin College in Sherman, TX. 


ULM is the only university in the state of Louisiana that has fielded an active AMTA-affiliated mock trial team for the last six years; the only university in the state to have competed at the Opening Round Championship Series of the AMTA National Championship the last four. The American Mock Trial Association was founded in 1985 and is the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition.