AIMTA hosts 20th mock trial

The American Intelligible Mock Trial Association sponsored its 20th Annual Mock Trial Friday. Suits, ties, stockings and pearls pervaded Perry Paige Auditorium that evening, as students from various universities exhibited their adroitness.

“A mock trial is when students practice as if it’s a real trial,” said Williams Ravenell, Ph. D., professor of business law in the School of Business and Industry.

Ravenell is an attorney and the only coach FAMU has had in its 14 consecutive years of scoring as champions.

The trial has rounds where the teams argue sides as different roles. They argue the sides of the plaintiff and the defendant.

“The students actually play the roles of real witnesses,” said Ravenell. “They assume the character. It’s just like television.”

The mock is a competition where there will be different teams. “One team will serve as a plaintiff and in this case the defense,” said Darrius Graham, 20, a junior political science student.

It’s like an actual trial. On each team, there are attorneys, witnesses, evidence and testimonies. Every team is given the same original case. However, Graham says, “The interesting thing is that each team comes with a different theme and case theory.”

The mock trial originated in 1985. Cases that are represented by the teams are retrieved from all over the United States and chosen by the Case Board Committee.

These cases are real. Most of the students on the teams are interested in going to Law school. Terminology and such that are taught in law school are familiar to the students now.

There are extraordinary benefits for the students involved.

“It enhances their verbal skills,” said Ravenell. “Teaches them to think quickly, exercising inductive and deductive reasoning powers.” Ravenell said that not only does this event give the students an opportunity to compete against other universities but also confidence.

“This is the only team that competes in an intellectual matter against majority schools,” said Ravenell.

The benefits are useful to FAMU in it’s effort to raise the bar intellectually.

“Just basic things, public speaking, critical thinking and things off the top of your head,” said Graham. “It’s about being professional and being able to conduct yourself in a professional manner.”

According to Graham, that’s the biggest thing the team wants to do for FAMU.

After all was said and done, appreciation, recognition and winnings held the floor. Georgia Tech captured first place and the orange team from FAMU came in second.

The top two teams will go directly to Des Moines, Iowa for the national championship university.

The University of Miami came in third place, University of Florida in fourth and the green team from FAMU placed fifth.

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