Perfect mock trial score for KSU junior

By The Mercury

Torrey Peterson, K-State junior in political science and pre-law, received a rare perfect score as an attorney in all rounds at the United States Air Force Academy annual Veterans’ Day Thunderbird Invitational Mock Trial Tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Peterson is a second year member of the K-State Mock Trial Team. She holds the position of “closer” on the team, meaning her job is to make final arguments to the judges to explain how the facts that are revealed during direct and cross examinations apply to the applicable law.

Actual federal and military JAG judges rate student teams of three attorneys and three witnesses as they argue an entire trial from opening statements to closing arguments.

All four judges from Peterson’s two rounds that she participated as an attorney gave her a rare perfect score as they all marked her as the best attorney in each round.

Hundreds of students compete in this tournament from dozens of schools across the country, including the University of Colorado, University of Nebraska, University of Arizona and the Air Force Academy.

Kansas State University took two teams to this tournament, one of which unofficially placed 8th out of approximately 20 teams.

The team is coached by Kansas City attorney, and Washburn Law School Trial Advocacy Program faculty member, Benjamin Long of the law firm Schlagel Kinzer.

“I am extremely proud of the hours of work our students put in to be so successful at this tournament,” said Dr. Long. “It is such an honor to have placed so high among so many schools with nationally recognized trial advocacy programs. Kansas State Mock Trial continues to make a name for itself as a successful team of highly dedicated and impressive students.”

The team is also coached by Dr. Britain Stites, a Junction City public defender, and Nikki Marcotte, legal secretary for the Oleen Law Firm, both also faculty of the Washburn Law School Trial Advocacy Program. Long and Marcotte are also KSU alumni.

This is the fourth year the Kansas State University Mock Trial Club has been active. It is a student organization that works closely with the faculty of the Communications Department, adviser Joe Koehle, and attorney coaches. The club argues cases at mock trial tournaments throughout the country, leading up to regional competition in February.

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