Two students win awards for outstanding performance at mock trial tournament

From left: Aizlyn Pieszak, an economics major, Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, assistant professor of legal studies, and Margaret Heeran, a legal studies major. Pieszak and Heeran won Outstanding Attorney Awards at an American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament held Feb. 23-24 at Yale University. Gadkar-Wilcox is their team’s adviser.

March 21, 2013 - Margaret Heeran and Aizlyn Pieszak won Outstanding Attorney Awards as members of Quinnipiac University's undergraduate mock trial team at the American Mock Trial Association Regional Tournament held Feb. 23-24 at Yale University.

The AMTA, which is the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competitions, holds several regional tournaments around the country. Students who attended the tournament at Yale were required to compete in four rounds involving a civil tort claim. They presented two cases as the plaintiff and two as the defense. Scoring judges ranked the top four attorneys and witnesses in each round. To receive an award, students needed to score at least 16 out of 20 ranks over the course of four rounds.

Heeran, a sophomore legal studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Pieszak, a senior economics major in the School of Business, were ranked among the top 10 attorneys in the region and received Outstanding Attorney Awards.

"All of the members of mock trial team spend a tremendous amount of time preparing for this activity," said Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, assistant professor of legal studies and undergraduate mock trial team adviser. "They learn the rules of evidence, study hundreds of pages of case materials, participate in several invitational tournaments during the fall and create their own opening and closing statements and witness examinations."

Other schools competing at the tournament included: Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Swarthmore College, Wellesley College, Fordham University and Boston College.  The tournament included 132 participating attorneys and witnesses, each of whom competed in four separate trials over two days.