Rutgers Mock Trial Takes First Place at Yale Regional Tournament

New Haven, CT- The Rutgers University Mock Trial Association (“RUMTA”) competed at the American Mock Trial Association’s Regional Tournament which Yale University hosted on February 7th and 8th. Against a field of twenty-nine competitive teams including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown University, Rutgers’ top squad, the A-Team, finished in first place with a record of 7-0-1. Rutgers’ four trials were against teams from Cornell University, Yale University, Williams College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Rutgers University Mock Trial

Rutgers University’s A-Team: Head Coach Craig Aronow, Michael Guggenheim, Brandon Ferrick, Max Natanagara, Captain Shaleen Patel, President Esther Kang, Ashley Daniels and Tom Twitchell

RUMTA’s A-Team and B-Team competed in New Haven to earn one of the top eight spots at the tournament. A ranking in the top eight secures a chance to compete at the Penn State Open Round Championships in March, which are the semi-finals that lead up to the National Championship Tournament in April. In each of the weekend’s four rounds, the Rutgers teams litigated Andy and Lee Park v. Hayden Duran, a civil case centered on the death of Sydney Park, an eleven-year-old who was shot by a friend, Jesse Duran. The student-attorneys presented arguments for and against holding Duran’s parents responsible for their child’s actions.

“The men and women on our team are exceptional students. They worked tirelessly in preparing for this competition and they did the Rutgers’ community proud. Our team has one goal and I know that the team will head out to Penn State armed for bear,” said Head Coach Craig Aronow. “We’ve trained hard all season to take first place at the Regional Tournament, but we will continue to push ourselves to reach our ultimate goal: the National Championship title,” said Captain of the A-Team Shaleen Patel.

RUMTA’s B-Team, led by Captain Dhruv Patel, finished the tournament with a record of 4-4, beating Monmouth University and the University of Connecticut. Overall, the B-Team, made up of three returning members and six first-year members, had an impressive showing at the competition. “I’m extremely proud of our achievements and how far we’ve come this season, and I’m grateful to be the captain of such a motivated team,” commented Patel.

The Rutgers A-Team will compete next month in the Open Round Championships hosted by Penn State, which is the second round of the national intercollegiate competition. In 2012, Rutgers A-Team finished number two in the nation out of 650 teams, and the goal this year is to capture the top spot. If the team can place in the top six at the Open Round Championships, it will have a chance to compete among the top 48 teams in the country at the National Championship Tournament in Ohio.

Middlesex County Bar Association members Craig Aronow of Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, Michael Roberts of Roberts & Teeter, Kimberly Yonta of Yonta Law, Jessica Ma of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Cory Rothbort of Seller Richardson coach RUMTA. The team is sponsored by the Rebenack, Aronow & Mascolo, LLP, the Middlesex County Bar Foundation and the Rutgers Alumni Association, which has continued to support the team since 2012.

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