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K-State Today

February 12, 2014



K-State Mock Trial club shines at Loras College in Iowa

By Bondy Kaye

The Kansas State University Mock Trial swept individual awards at the Loras College Invitational Mock Trial Tournament, the largest undergraduate tournament of the year. The team earned top honors in three categories, winning outstanding attorney, witness and coach awards.

More than 500 students from 51 teams representing 33 schools competed in this tournament — including many of the top ranked teams in the nation — making this the largest mock trial tournament in the nation.

Judges rate student teams of three attorneys and three witnesses as they argue an entire trial from opening statements to closing arguments. Josh Wilson, senior from Manhattan, tied for the second highest attorney ranking of the tournament from among 306 competitors. Nick Orth, sophomore from Omaha, Neb., tied for the fourth highest ranked witness out of 306 actors at the tournament for his portrayal of the getaway limousine driver.

“I am honored to represent KSU mock trial and would never have been able to excel as I have without the support and hard work of all my teammates,” Wilson said.

The team is coached by Kansas City attorney and Washburn Law School trial advocacy program faculty member Benjamin Long, who is with the law firm Schlagel Kinzer. Long was awarded the new award of Best Team Coach for all of the dedication and support he has given to K-State Mock Trial. This award was given on the basis of recommendations by each team for their coach, with Long was selected by the tournament administrator.

“I am extremely proud of the hours of work our students put in to be so successful at this tournament,” Long said. “Kansas State Mock Trial continues to make a name for itself against nationally recognized trial advocacy programs as a successful team of highly dedicated and impressive students.”

The team is also coached by Britain Stites, a Junction City public defender, and Nikki Marcotte, legal secretary for the Oleen Law Firm. Long and Marcotte also are Kansas State University alumni.

This is the fifth year the Kansas State University Mock Trial Club has been active. It is a student organization working closely with the faculty of the communication studies department, adviser Joe Koehle and attorney coaches. The club argues cases at mock trial tournaments throughout the country, leading up to regional competition Feb. 14-16.