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Concord University's Mock Trial Team Places Third In National Competition

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312 -

Concord University's Mock Trial Team Places Third In National Competition

ATHENS - Concord University’s mock trial team placed third in the Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity’s National Pre-Law Conference and Mock Trial Competition in Washington, D.C. Nov. 10 – 13, 2010. This is the sixth Concord team to have placed either first, second or third in the competition in the last six years.

Twelve Concord students participated in the Mock Trial Competition. They were divided into three teams. The team of Angela Cannon, Grace Hurney, Kelsey Queen and Ben Umstead made it into the final round of four teams and defeated a team from Indiana University to place third in the competition. First and second place went to the two teams from the University of Florida.

The other Concord students participating were Brandon Austin, Elizabeth Bailey, Dustin Blankenship, Joseph Dean II, Chris Matheny, Kiwa Nadas, Svitlana Olenich and Jacob Simmons.

The students play the part of both attorneys and witnesses in the competition. Simmons received the award as the best witness in the competition.

The mock trial case this year concerned whether an owner of an investment company murdered one of his employees after the employee allegedly threatened to sue him for discrimination and blow the whistle on an allegedly fraudulent investment scheme. The defendant claimed to have an alibi and asserted that there were other people who had the motive and opportunity to commit the alleged murder.

Pre-law undergraduate students from universities across the United States competed in the trial competition. Besides Concord, the schools competing included the University of Florida, Indiana University, Central Florida University, Texas Tech, the University of Houston, Western Illinois University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Pasadena City College, Oklahoma City University and William Woods University. The competition is part of the Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity’s National Pre-Law Conference, which also includes speakers on law school applications, financial aid, LSAT test preparation and how to be successful law students.

Concord’s mock trial teams are coached by Marshall S. Campbell, who is a local attorney, a pre-law instructor at Concord and Concord’s Interim Director of Human Resources.

“I am extremely proud of the members of all Concord’s teams. They prepared together, supported each other and learned a great deal,” Campbell said. “The positive result again this year evidences Concord’s strong legal studies and pre-law program.

“I want to give special recognition to Kelsey Queen and Jacob Simmons, who were on the Concord team that was in the finals in 2009. It is a special accomplishment to be recognized for their efforts and abilities two years in a row,” he said.

Campbell thanked several local judges. “One evening, we went to the Mercer County Courthouse and had local Circuit Judges Derek Swope, William Sadler, and Omar Aboulhosn judge a practice round,” he said. “Their experienced comments and observations were invaluable. We greatly appreciate their willingness to assist us and their excellent advice on the case helped us immensely.”

Besides the mock trial class, Concord offers a variety of pre-law classes that assist the students in preparing for law school or other careers.