4/24/2014 10:25:23 PM

Moot Court/Mock Trial National Success

Thursday, April 04, 2013

By Sarah Vistocco '13

Siena College’s Honorable James P. King Moot Court/ Mock Trial team competed in the second round of the American Mock Trial Association’s annual national tournament last month in Easton, Pa. Although the team did not advance beyond the Opening Round Championship Series, the participants returned with personal and shared success.

“Siena certainly has something to be proud of,” said Pre-Law Advisor and Political Science Department Chair Professor Len Cutler, Ph.D. “Each of the four rounds came down to just a few points, and though the team didn’t win enough judges to advance to the final round, they performed exceptionally against such teams as New York University.” NYU is a four-time national champion.

In late February, the team earned a spot in the Opening Round Championship Series by performing well during the regional tournament. Co-Captain Christine Armstrong ’13 emerged as a standout competitor. She and Co-Captain Mara Afzali ’14 shared the All-Region Attorney Award while Armstrong and Steven Procopio ’14 won the All-Region Best Witness Award. Armstrong was the competition’s only participant to win both.

The impressive senior continued her success at the Opening Round Championship Series. Armstrong was the first Siena College student to be named All-American Attorney at this advanced level of competition. Her successful moot court/mock trial career has created a strong foundation as she heads to Albany Law School in the fall.

Armstrong recognized the impact Cutler had on the team’s success. “He is our biggest advocate and our biggest cheerleader,” Armstrong said of the team advisor. “He is just so invested and so willing to help us.”

Siena graduates also helped the team succeed. Along with Jurist-in-Residence Hon. Patrick Monserrate and Hon. Richard Giardino, Eric Scalzo ’08, Sugam Langer ’07, Mara Afzali's husband Javid Afzali ’09 and Aubrey Roman ’11 served as coaches. “In line with the Franciscan spirit and Siena’s values of community and giving back, our coaches volunteer so much time and energy to helping us succeed,” Mara Afzali said.

Afzali added that this year’s success gave her team a deeper understanding of what the judges are looking for and confidence that they can compete with the country’s best colleges and universities. The moot court/mock trial team looks forward to building upon what they learned this year to achieve success when competitions begin again next year.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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