Furman team earns trip to Minnesota to participate in Mock Trial championship

MARCH 27, 2012
by Tina Underwood, Media Relations

Watch video from Ney Tournament opening ceremony

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor addressed the mock trial participants prior to the competition.

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Furman University earned its 16th consecutive trip to the American Mock Trial Association’s championship finals with a strong performance in the Ney National Tournament held on campus March 23-25.

Furman qualified one of its two entries in the Ney tournament, which got off to an impressive start when former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor addressed the tournament participants prior to the start of the competition.

The national tournament will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., in April.

Furman’s advancing team earned a bid with a record of 5-2-1, winning over Eastern Kentucky University, winning and losing to Florida State, winning and tying Elon, and winning and losing to South Carolina. Two teams from Harvard and one team from Duke, Eastern Kentucky and Princeton also moved on to the finals.

The road to the national championship began in February with 655 teams competing in one of 24 regional tournaments. About 30 percent of those advanced to the opening rounds of the national championship, which were hosted at eight sites, one of those being the Ney National at Furman. Each of those eight sites advances six teams to the final.

Furman’s team is led by Alyssa Richardson ‘12 (Columbia), and Morgan Bridgman ‘12 (Atlanta) who was named an outstanding attorney. Other team members are Ricky Davis ’14 (Kennesaw, Ga.), Maddison Hall ’14 (Fort Mill), Nicholas Lau ’15 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Dustin Magaziner ’15 (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Katherine Martin ’14 (Snellville, Ga.), Andrew Mueller ’14 (Tinley Park, Ill.), and Kathleen Wade ’12 (Tallahassee, Fla.).

Furman’s second team finished with a 4-4 record and was led by Anna McDanal ’12 (Hatechubee, Ala.) who was also named an outstanding attorney. This team also won the Spirit of AMTA Award, given to the team that best displays the ideals of the association – civility, professionalism, and the pursuit of justice. Voted on by the students, this marks the first time Furman has received this award at an AMTA-sanctioned tournament.

Coaches for Furman Mock Trial include D. Brad Rustin ’03, Steven Buckingham ’03, Lindsay Builder ’07, Mark Fessler ’05, Mitchell Goldsmith ’06, university legal advisor Angie Littlejohn, Brent Tucker and Thomas Azar. Also integral to Furman’s success is adjunct coach and president Rod Smolla who worked with the team ahead of the tournament and was instrumental in bringing Sandra Day O’Connor to be part of the Ney National’s opening ceremony.

For more information about Furman Mock Trial, contact program director Glen Halva-Neubauer in the department of political science at 864-294-3608, or glen.halva-neubauer@furman.edu.