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St. Norbert College Students Earn High Ranking at Interstate Mock Trial Competition

From St. Norbert College, November 21, 2017
by Matthew Matuszak, matthew.matuszak@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

St. Norbert College students recently participated in a mock trial competition at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. The team finished fifth out of 46 teams. Junior student Elizabeth Totzke (Appleton, Wis.) won an award for her perfect score as an attorney, and junior student Zac Dickhut (Waupun, Wis.) won an award for his perfect score as a witness. Other students who participated include: Ryan VanDeWalle (Green Bay, Wis.), Ryan Leisgang (Green Bay, Wis.), Jim Vogt (McHenry, Ill.), Hunter Van Asten (Kaukauna, Wis.), Roman Buss (Prague), Hanna Reinke (Appleton, Wis.) and Adam Mayrer (Medford, Wis.).

"The team this year is made up of a number of very experienced mock trial competitors who demonstrated how well they have developed their courtroom skills. This is certainly one of the best teams St. Norbert has fielded since the program began in 2010. Hopefully they can continue to improve as the season progresses," said Alyssa Kempke, a 2013 graduate of St. Norbert College, who advises the college's mock trial team in addition to her work as a clerk for the Honorable William C. Griesbach, a federal judge in the Green Bay division of the eastern district of Wisconsin.

Mock trial is a combination of theater, improvisation and debate. Students are presented a fictional legal case that is either criminal or civil in nature. One school represents the plaintiff and the opposing school represents the defendant. Approximately half of the team play witnesses who take the stand to testify in the fictional case, being examined by attorneys portrayed by the other half of each school's team.

Mock trial prepares students for professional legal careers by teaching evidentiary rules, trial etiquette and argument foundation. Additionally, it teaches students to think on their feet in order to be ready to respond to objections, questions and witness testimony at an unexpected moment.

For more information, contact Charles Jacobs at 920-403-2965 or charles.jacobs@snc.edu.