• group photo of mock trial team

The Redbird mock trial team will be participating in the Opening Championship Rounds Series sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Five ISU students were recognized at regional tournaments as outstanding competitors.

Two ISU squads participated in the first weekend of AMTA regional competitions on February 5-7. Squad 1033 attained a 6-2 record, placing third out of 20 teams. This squad split ballots with New Jersey City University and Amherst College. It won all ballots in rounds against St. Ambrose University and University of California-Riverside. The six teams with the best records earned bids to the Opening Rounds Championship Series (ORCS), a virtual competition that will be held in March.

Squad 1034 garnered a 4-4 record. It won rounds against Grand Canyon University and Brandeis University while losing competitions against George Washington University and Loyola University. George Washington took first place in this regional.

AMTA recognized students from both squads for their individual performances. Brock Melrose was awarded outstanding attorney. Tyler Gray-Henry, Parker Francisco, Nadalie Ponce, and Kyla Egizio were each named outstanding witnesses. Kyla was also awarded outstanding attorney for scoring a perfect 20 points.

This was the first time the team advanced to ORCS since Josh Rinker has taken over the role of lead attorney coach. When the results were announced, Rinker indicated how proud he was of the students. He commented how they worked very hard and continued to improve during the spring semester. Their work paid off.

Josh Rinker ’06, a Bloomington attorney in private practice, was an All-American award-winner for the ISU mock trial team when he was an undergraduate student at Illinois State. He is assisted by Brad Rigdon, the first assistant state’s attorney for McLean County. Professor Tom McClure is the educator coach.