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UNA Mock Trial Team takes home two attorney awards at invitational tournament
Nov. 4, 2010



By Lucy Berry

FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama Mock Trial Team recently took home two attorney awards at the seventh annual Quincy University Riverside Classic Invitational in Quincy, Ill.

UNA students Cody Wix and Mickel Magness were awarded for their work at the two-round, one-day mock trial competition that was held in an actual courtroom with 8th judicial court and associate judges. Wix, president of the team, won the best plaintiff and defendantaward, while team secretary Magness was honored as best defense attorney.

UNA competed against University of Kansas and Saint Louis University at the mock trial competition. Dr. Tim Collins, Mock Trial sponsor and coordinator, said several UNA students ranked during the competition and one of the teams finished in third place inthe overall ballot.

“As an undergraduate student, you don’t have classes that directly relate to what you learn in law school,” Collins said. “The Mock Trial Team gives undergraduates the opportunity to see what they’ll actually be doing and to begin to put the pieces togetherin terms of undergraduate training, reading comprehension, logic, public speaking and analytical thinking. It gives them the experience of a courtroom and its dynamics, and exposes them to the federal rules of evidence.”

The students argued a civil product liability case called Davis vs. Happyland Toy Company,” in which a child ingested a princess bead from a toy set that bonded together when wet. The team argued whether the elevated chemicals in the beads were lethal enoughto kill the child that swallowed them.

“We put a lot of hours into the case, and you have to be so familiar with it that you know it backwards and forwards,” Wix said. “This is the closest you can get to the real deal. It’s all about practicing and developing your case, themes and theories.”

To prepare for the regional competition next February, the team will travel to the sixth annual Billiken Barrister Tournament in St. Louis Nov. 6, where they will compete against up to 16 teams in a two-round competition. They will head to Middle TennesseeState University for the 21st annual Mid-South Invitational Tournament Nov. 12-13.

For more information, contact Collins at 256-765-4525 or jtcollins@una.edu.