Mock trial is an academic competition that provides students with the opportunity to hone valuable skills, including critical thinking, active listening, public speaking, and teamwork.
The UIS Trial Team competes against other college teams within the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Each academic year, AMTA releases either a criminal or civil case packet. The team portrays unique witnesses such as an investigative reporter, doctors, forensic pathologists, police officers, restaurant owners, and much more. In addition, students participate as attorneys who question witnesses, make arguments and objections, conduct an opening or closing statement, and submit evidence. Each round scoring judges rate the attorney and witness performances.
Check back soon for the latest updates!
Trial Team Competitions
February 5-7 2021 AMTA Regionals
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both UIS teams competed in two different regionals across the United States.
- UIS Team A competed in regional E (Hosted by Boston College)
- Cedric Birgans received an outstanding witness award with 16/20 ranks.
- Joseph Partain received an outstanding attorney award with 19/20 ranks.
- UIS Team B competed in regional H (hosted by AMTA)
- Bryce Thomas received an outstanding witness award with 18/20 ranks.
January 23-24, 2021 Central College - Racheter Invitational
- UIS Trail Team placed 8th out of 30 teams
- Camille Daley received an outstanding witness award with 18 ranks
- Joseph Partain received an outstanding attorney award with 18 ranks
January 9-10 University of Nebraska - Scarlet and Cream
- Joseph Partain received an outstanding attorney award with 18 ranks.
November 14-15 2020 – University of Missouri – Kansas City – Derek Morehead and Irene Downs Memorial Tournament
- Jermaine Windham received an outstanding witness award with 19 ranks.
February 8-9, 2020 - American Mock Trial Association Regional
The UIS Trial Team finished it’s record-setting season this year in style. First, UIS sent two teams to the American Mock Trial Association regional in Indianapolis, Indiana this past weekend. UIS’ B team had a record of 2-5-1. UIS' A team finished 9th place of 20 teams with a 4-4 record (losing 1 ballot by 1 point).
Additionally, four UIS students took home individual awards – more than any other program at the tournament. Outstanding witness awards were earned by Payton Wilkins (Class of 2023), Cedric Birgans (Class of 2023), and Jermaine Windham (Class of 2022)! Finally, with a perfect 20 ranks, Joseph Partain (Class of 2021) received an outstanding attorney award. Congratulations to these four individuals and the entire UIS Trial Team family for a record-shattering year!
A special thanks to UIS alumnus and current UIS masters student, Jayde Schlesinger, for volunteering her time to assistant coach this year.
Participating Students: Joseph Partain, Cedric Birgans, Alexis Campbell, Bryce Thomas, Nikola Sowa, Payton Wilkins, Jenny Viramontes, Sam Vonbehren, David Alonso, Jacob Cacioppo, Amanda Young, Nathan Hayes, Jermaine Windham, and Ashtray Sents
Joseph Partain earned a perfect 20- ranks attorney award at the regionals competition! This aspiring attorney has been with the UIS Trial Team for 3 years and has put in a lot of time, hard work, and effort.
Cedric Birgans earned an outstanding witness award at the regionals competition in Indianapolis, Indiana! This rising freshman has the most earned single-season individual awards in UIS Trial Team team history.
Payton Wilkins earned an outstanding witness award at the regionals competition in Indianapolis, Indiana! He has been working hard on the team through the 2019-20 season and has done exceptionally well.
Jermaine Windham earned an outstanding witness award at the regionals competition in Indianapolis, Indiana! He has put in a lot of effort to the team this season, being a big contributor to the success of UIS Trial Team’s first-ever B team!
January 25, 2020 - 32nd Annual National Mock Trial Invitational at Loras College
The UIS Trial Team competed in the 32nd Annual National Mock Trial Invitational at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Joseph Partain (class of 2021) received an individual outstanding attorney award with 19/20 ranks and Cedric Birgans (class of 2023) won an individual outstanding witness award with 19/20 ranks. The UIS Trial Team heads to its Regional tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana (February 8-9, 2020) having earned the most single-season individual awards in UIS Trial Team history.
January 17-18, 2020 - Central College in Pella, Iowa
The UIS Trial Team competed at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Joseph Partain (class of 2021) took home an outstanding attorney award with 18 ranks on both prosecution and defense. Cedric Birgans (class of 2023) was awarded an outstanding witness award with a perfect 20 ranks. This marks the third tournament this year where these students have taken home these honors. They are exciting to watch!
Pictured (clockwise): Upper-Left Joseph Partain & Cedric Biggins; Cedric Biggins with wooden shoes trophy; and the Trial Team (l-r) Bryce Thomas, Nikola Sowa, Jacob Cacioppo, Cedric Birgans, Payton Wilkins, Joseph Partain, , Alexis Campbell, and Damilola Moibi.
November 16, 2019 - University of Missouri Kansas City Mock Trial Invitational
UIS’s Cedric Birgans (class of 2023) received his second outstanding witness award in two weeks at the University of Missouri Kansas City mock trial invitational. Birgans scored 19 ranks, placing him 3rd overall out of all witnesses at the tournament.
November 8-10, 2019 - Illinois State University Tournament
The University of Illinois Springfield Trial Team participated in a 32-team tournament hosted by Illinois State University. The tournament was held in the courtrooms of the McLean County Justice Center in Bloomington, Illinois. Out of approximately 300 students, the University of Illinois Springfield’s Joseph Partain (class of 2021) took home an outstanding attorney award ranking in the top seven of all attorneys within the tournament. Additionally, Cedric Birgins (class of 2023) received an outstanding witness award, ranking second overall in the entire tournament.
The UIS Mock Trial team received its 2019-20 case from the American Mock Trial Association. All interested students are invited to participate in prosecuting or defending a murder trial.
Another Win for the UIS Mock Trial Team!
On January 19-20, 2019, UIS sophomore Joseph Partain (Luka, IL) received an outstanding attorney award* at Central College’s mock trial invitational tournament in Pella, IA. Given the Dutch heritage of Pella, IA, outstanding attorneys were awarded a miniature pair of Dutch clogs! Joseph was one of 11 students honored:
Members of the team UIS include the following UIS students: Chance Austin, Andrew Jarmer, Jenny Viramontes, Alexis Campbell, Joseph Partain, Trenton Newbury, Adeola Babington, Jade Sisti, and Colton Goins.
Mock Trial Team Wins Award at University of Nebraska
On January 12-13, 2019, the UIS Trial team received the Spirit of AMTA award at the first annual Scarlet and Cream Invitational hosted by the University of Nebraska. Since 2000, the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) has recognized the team that best exemplifies its ideals – civility, justice, and fair play. The Spirit of AMTA award is awarded to only one team per tournament. Teams are voted and ranked based upon the following ideal criterion: Outgoing and friendly before and after trial; extremely cordial; team demonstrated through its behavior (e.g., offering use of exhibits, sharing equipment) a willingness to go beyond the call of duty; a shining example of AMTA’s ideals of civility, fair play, and justice.
Additionally, senior Andrew Jarmer received an outstanding attorney award. In addition to the scores for each function of the trial, each scoring judge is asked to rank the top four attorneys and the top four witnesses in the round. Those rankings are used to calculate individual awards, which are independent of team awards. A first rank is worth 5 points, a second rank is worth 4 points, a third rank is worth 3 points, and a fourth rank is worth 2 points. A student’s ranks on the four ballots on each side of the case are added together for a maximum of 20 points on a side. The students with the most points out of 20 are given outstanding attorney and witness awards. Andrew Jarmer received 18 points and was therefore one of approximately 10 students honored.
Finally, the team placed in the top eight at the tournament. Members of the team include the following UIS students: Chance Austin, Andrew Jarmer, Jenny Viramontes, Alexis Campbell, Joseph Partain, Trenton Newbury, Adeola Babington, and Jade Sisti.
As part of the trial advocacy (LES/ PSC 376) class, UIS took two teams to the Illinois State University 28-team mock trial tournament November 17-19, 2017 at the McLean County Law and Justice Center. Top performing UIS attorneys included: Keaton Hill, Darius Millican, Fredrick Moore, Chris Vemagiri, Jayde Schlesinger, and Sierra Sigretto. Top performing UIS witnesses included: Keaton Hill, Shaina Humphrey, Sierra Sigretto, Chris Vemagiri and Halie Edwards.
UIS mock trial will kick off its competitive-team season January 2018.
On Saturday, October 28, 2017 nine members of the LES/ PSC 376 – Trial Advocacy course, along with three UIS Mock Trial Club members, competed in the second annual UIS Mock Trial Showcase against Quincy University. This event included a two-round scrimmage in the UIS courtroom (TV Studio B). UIS students litigated both the prosecution and the defense sides of an attempted murder case.
Judges for the day included local practicing attorneys, mock trial coaches, law students, and UIS mock trial alumni.
UIS will send two teams (22 students) to compete in a four-round invitational tournament at Illinois State University November 17-19. Rounds will be held in the circuit court courtrooms of the McLean County Law and Justice Center.
To kick off the 2017-2018 season, eight members of the LES/ PSC 376 – Trial Advocacy course, and two UIS Mock Trial Club members, competed in a two round invitational scrimmage at the University of Illinois College of Law on October 7, 2017.
There were six schools in attendance including the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, and the University of Illinois Springfield.
Judges included practicing attorneys, mock trial coaches, and law professors from the University of Illinois College of Law.
These students below, along with another UIS team, will compete in a four round tournament at Illinois State University in November 2017.
In the 2016-2017 season, the UIS Trial Team competed at various invitationals including its regional tournament in Joliet, IL on February 18-19, 2017 (pictured here).
During the year, the UIS Trial Team hosted invitational scrimmages with Bradley and Quincy University and attended the following invitational tournaments: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Rhodes College (Memphis, TN); Loras College (Dubuque, IA); and regionals hosted by Lewis University (Joliet, IL).
During the 2015-16 season, the UIS Trial Team competed in the 10th Annual Billiken Barristers’ Invitational at the Saint Louis University School of Law on November 14-15, 2015. UIS walked away with an outstanding attorney (Austin Mehmet) and an outstanding witness (Vanessa Pratt) award. The teams took more ballots than ever before! Click here to read more about the 2015-2016 UIS Trial Team.
The inaugural UIS Trial Team organized in October 2013 and competed in its first invitational tournament at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, on January 18-19, 2014.