Legal Eagles' Soar to National Championships
(Posted March 21, 2022)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. — With the fall of the gavel at the final trial of the weekend, Juniata’s “Legal Eagles” secured their bid to face the highest-ranked Mock Trial teams in the nation at the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) National Championship next month.
Led by their coach, Attorney David Andrews ’74, the Juniata College Mock Trial team has advanced to the National Playoffs each of the four years of their existence, with this year’s taking place in Cincinnati, OH.
“This is our first time going to the National Championships. It’s quite an accomplishment,” says Andrews. “We were 3-3 going into the last trial Sunday. Our team stepped up and were on their game. Our witnesses were excellent, and our attorneys were on top of everything. These were very competitive, very tough trials.”
Dan Cummins ’24 and Francesca Satiro ’25 won Outstanding Attorney Awards, further distinguishing Juniata College as being one of only two teams with multiple Outstanding Attorney Award winners. Georgetown University also earned this distinction.
At the playoffs, each team competes in four trials (two as the defendant and two as the plaintiff), with two judges presiding over each trial. Teams can earn a total of eight points throughout the weekend competition. Juniata’s team faced off against University of Illinois, Penn State University, Xavier University, and Indiana University-Purdue University, with each competitor institution representing an average enrollment of 39,200.
“We knew there were other teams in the mix but didn’t know where we would rank,” Andrews says. “We ended up getting our place due to the strength of competition throughout the tournament.”
That same competitive spirit and commitment to their craft kept the team members wide awake on the 8-hour bus ride home as they eagerly awaited the release of the discovery binder containing the case information for the Championships.
“These students are hard work personified. You’d think they’d be celebrating or sleeping on the bus, but no,” says Andrews. “Once the case was released, my students had laptops open and a wi-fi hot spot set up. They were reading and analyzing the new case at 1 a.m. and asking me what I thought. That’s why this team has done so well.”
The new case centers upon a criminal investigation of the apparent overdose death of a lab technician. When the investigation reveals a ring of state employees skimming money and drugs seized by law enforcement and falsifying documents, a law enforcement officer is implicated and must defend against felony charges relating to falsifying state records and theft of state property.
Juniata College will join Georgetown University, Michigan State University, University of Maryland-Baltimore, and University of Cincinnati in trying the case at the Championships.
A total of 660 teams were entered into the national tournament at the start, with playoff competitions taking place throughout the United States. The remaining 48 teams will face off at the National Championships in Lancaster, Pa., April 8-10, 2022.
Team members who will participate in the National Championship are: captain Dan Cummins ’24, captain Sarah Cook ’24, Francesca Satiro ’25, Emerson Strawser ’25, Nattie Daversa ’23, Alex Sanna ’24, Quintin Ioime ’24, Brenna Haggerty ’25, Kyle Boyer ’24, and Olivia Day ’24. Alternates for the National Championship are Shea Langille ’25, Brendan Andrews ’25, and Vanessa Alvarez ’25.
Contact April Feagley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 641-3131 for more information.