UWF Mock Trial Team hosts second annual Argo Invitational

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

The University of West Florida (UWF) hosted the second annual Argo Invitational Mock Trial Tournament last weekend, Jan. 19 and 20. Teams from Auburn University, University of Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kennesaw State University and the University of North Alabama attended the event.

The tournament consisted of four rounds focusing on a civil trial that involved a wrongful death lawsuit based on a diving accident. The participating teams had to prepare a plaintiff and defense case as part of the competition, which took place in the mock trial courtroom on the main Pensacola campus. The facility is designed to simulate an actual courtroom, providing a realistic environment for learning.

The tournament was judged by volunteers from UWF faculty and local legal professionals, including a real judge. Auburn University took first place.

Dr. Kimberly Tatum, the UWF Mock Trial faculty sponsor, said the event is a valuable educational experience for students.

“It is an excellent opportunity for our students to improve their case strategies and performance before our regional tournament at the University of Central Florida next month,” she said.

An admissions dean from Stetson University College of Law, the sponsor of the Argo Invitational, was present at the tournament to speak to students about the law school application process.

“We were thrilled to partner with Stetson University College of Law for this event, since it is well known for its award-winning trial advocacy program,” Tatum said.

All of the participating teams are members of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), which was founded in 1985 by Dean Richard Calkins of Drake Law School. The AMTA hosts 24 regional tournaments, eight opening round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each year in February and March.

Invitational tournaments, hosted by the team’s institutions during the fall and early spring, are held around the country to allow teams to practice and prepare for the AMTA-sanctioned tournaments. UWF will compete in the regional tournament hosted by the University of Central Florida on Feb. 16-17.

The UWF Mock Trial Team is open to all current UWF students. For additional information, contact Tatum at ktatum@uwf.edu.

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