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Millsaps Mock Trial Advances to Championship Series

by Web on March 15, 2018

Two Millsaps College Mock Trial teams will advance to the opening round championship series March 23-25 in Memphis, thanks to their most successful regionals competition in the group’s seven-year history.

The Millsaps Purple team finished first with an undefeated record of 8-0 in a 24-team regional competition Feb. 16-18 at Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, and the Millsaps White team came in third overall with a record of 6-2. The wins earned the group two bids to the championship series.

"With its 8-0 record, the Millsaps Purple team is in the company of teams from Georgetown University, Harvard University, Baylor University, Boston University, Duke University, Loyola University Chicago, Miami University, Rhodes College, and the University of Notre Dame," said Harvey L. Fiser, professor of business law at Millsaps who serves as coach and advisor of Millsaps Mock Trial. "That’s amazing considering there are more than 800 registered teams in the American Mock Trial Association this year."

The Millsaps teams went head to head at regionals with teams from the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Vanderbilt University, Louisiana State University, Dillard University, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

During regionals, individual awards went to Kayleigh Aicklen of Bay St. Louis and Noah Crosley of Munford, Tenn., who each received a Witness Award, and Hamilton Armour of Canton, Ga., who earned an Attorney Award.

Members of the Millsaps Purple team are Pujan Patel of Flowood, team captain and organization president; Kendall Hardy of San Antonio, Texas; Vajresh Balaji of Coimbatore, India; Zophia Pryzby of Reston, Va.; Noah Barbieri of Belden; Noah Crosley of Munford, Tenn; Evan Smithers of Memphis; and Grace McWatters of Arlington, Wash.

Members of the Millsaps White team are Angel Williams of Baton Rouge, La., team captain; Hamilton Armour of Canton, Ga.; Dominic Sanderson of Brandon; Brandy Raymond of Lacombe, La.; Gabrielle Strickland of West Monroe, La.; Summer Johnson of Gardendale, Ala.; Kayleigh Aicklen of Bay St. Louis; and Spencer Ellswood of Austin, Texas.

From its own historic mock trial courtroom on campus, the Mock Trial team begins each season in August and competes through the spring semester.

The Mock Trial team is composed of more than 30 students, all of whom have a competitive drive and strong work ethic, Fiser said. "With their hard work in drilling evidence and their dedication to doing their best, this is a powerful combination," he said.

Mock Trail appeals to students from all across campus. 

"We have students from nearly all disciplines and majors, including, political science, math, business, economics, history, and philosophy," Fiser said. "Some want to continue to law school, but many want the experience of collegiate competition and practice in public speaking and debate. Mock Trial competition includes strategy, case analysis, quick thinking, and speaking – it’s an intellectual sparring match."