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Mock Trial Team Earns Spirit Award at Regional Competition

Senior Mike Lathen Repeats as 'Best Witness'

March 4, 2010

Team members pictured at a competition at Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, in January are, from the left, Mike Lathan, Shane Harphant, Leah Simmons, Jake Hofer, Laura Kloimwieder, Evan Bates and Brittany Carpenter.

Team members pictured at a competition at Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, in January are, from the left, Mike Lathan, Shane Harphant, Leah Simmons, Jake Hofer, Laura Kloimwieder, Evan Bates and Brittany Carpenter.

Wilmington College’s Mock Trial team won the “Spirit of AMTA” award at last weekend’s (Feb. 26 and 27) Mid-East Regional competition of the American Mock Trial Association held in Cincinnati.

Some 160 students from the 20 participating colleges and universities voted the Wilmington contingent as best at portraying the “ideals of civility, fair play and justice.”

WC edged the runner-up, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 29 to 28 votes for the award.

Also, WC senior Michael Lathan was named “Best Witness” for the competition, as he portrayed Adrione Malone, owner of a Ford and Maserati auto dealership, with “humor and skill.” Lathan also won the award last year.

As a team, Wilmington scored three wins and five losses, falling twice to teams from the University of Pittsburgh while defeating Washington and Lee and splitting the final round with Carnegie Mellon.

Team members are Lathan, Laura Kloimwieder, Evan Bates, Brittany Carpenter, Shane Haraphant, Jake Hofer and Leah Simmons. Their adviser is Paul Moke, professor of criminal justice and political studies.

Moke praised his team for overcoming “significant obstacles” in dealing with changes in personnel and new assignments just weeks before the season finale in Cincinnati.

“I’m proud of the way the students rose to the challenge and worked together at the regional competition to do their best against much bigger schools,” he said.

“The team award we won is a testament to our institutional values, and Mike Lathan’s best witness award ... what can I say? It was a huge victory, both for him and for our school,” Moke added. “Usually, Wilmington is one of the smallest colleges out there, and we often don’t win against the big dogs.

“But it’s nice to know that somebody appreciates all we do to prepare our case carefully and present it with civility and respect in the courtroom.”