UIS Mock Trial Club
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 University of Illinois Mock 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. In the 2021-2022 school year, the UIS Trial Team will be competing in a criminal case. The team will portray unique witnesses like an investigative reporter, experts like doctors, forensic pathologists, and , policemen or women, restaurant owners, and much more. In addition, students can participate as attorneys who question the witness, make arguments and objections, conduct an opening or closing statement, and submit evidence. Each round scoring judges will rate the attorneys and witnesses performances. At the conclusion of the trials, an awards ceremony will take place and the outstanding witnesses and attorneys will be announced.
Trial Team Competitions AY 20/21
February 5-7 2021 AMTA Regionals
- Both UIS teams competed in two different regionals across the United States.
- UIS Team A competed in regional E (Hosted by Boston College)
- A team won two ballots, tied on one ballot, and lost 5 ballots.They were close on four of their ballots with a loss of 1, 6, 5, and 8
- Cedric Birgans received an outstanding witness award with 16 ranks
- Joseph Partain received an outstanding attorney award with 19 ranks
- UIS B Team competed in regional H
- B team won 2 ballots and lost 6 ballots. However, they were close on five of those ballots with a loss of 4, 9, 9, 1, and 8 respectively.
- Bryce Thomas received an outstanding witness award with 18 ranks.
January 23-24, 2021 Central College – Racheter Invitational
- UIS placed 8th out of 30 teams.
- UIS A Team won 5 ballots and lost 3 ballots. A team was close on 2 ballots with a loss of 9 and 7.
- UIS B Team won 2 ballots and lost 6 ballots. B team was close on 5 ballots with a loss of 6, 5, 5, 3, and 9 respectively.
- Camille Daley received an outstanding witness award with 18 ranks.
- Joseph Partain received an outstanding attorney award with 18 ranks.
January 9-10 2021 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 rank
Trial Team Competitions AY 19/20
February 8-9, 2020 – 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’s record of 2-5-1 was, by default, the best in school history for a B team. Next, the A team finished 9th place of 20 teams with a 4-4 record (losing 1 ballot by 1 point). While only the top 6 teams advanced to the Open Round Championships (“ORCS”) this year, that finish tied UIS’ all-time regional wins record.
Additionally, an unprecedented 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
January 25, 2020 – 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 – 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 3rd 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 – UIS’ 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. UIS Trial Team is an academic competition that provides students with the opportunity to hone valuable skills, including critical thinking, active listening, public speaking, and teamwork.
November 8-10, 2019 – 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.
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.
*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.
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.