The Rutgers University Mock Trial Association (“RUMTA”) competed at the Regional Tournament hosted by Penn State University on February 9th and 10th. Rutgers University’s top undergraduate mock trial team faced a competitive field that included teams from George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Penn State University. The competition consisted of four trials, each scored by two judges. The Rutgers A-Team won 7 of the 8 judges’ scorecards and tied another to claim first place with a record of 7-0-1.
Craig Aronow of Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, LLP in New Brunswick is the team’s head coach and has been coaching the team for the past 6 years. The trials were based upon a wrongful-death suit filed against a scuba diving company and involved two affirmative defenses as well as highly challenging evidentiary issues.
The Rutgers A-Team, as has been its trademark in recent years, employed an aggressive style. Through a strong command of the rules of evidence and trial technique, the team short-circuited the opposing teams’ cases. For example, in the second round, the Rutgers defense neutralized the plaintiff’s direct examination by successfully barring large portions of testimony.
Two Rutgers team members earned both Top Attorney and Top Witness Awards: Gregory Doukas, opening attorney for the plaintiff, and Gregory Cui, closing attorney for the defense. After closing ceremonies, Gregory Cui said “We came to State College with a plan; with a mission. Coach told us to control the courtroom and try our case. We did just that. This is the first time Rutgers has placed first at a major tournament, and it certainly will not be the last. Open Round Championships in 32 days.
Rutgers will next compete at the American Mock Trial Association’s Open Round Championships, held at Lafayette College in March. If the team can place in the top eight, they will earn a spot in the National Championship Tournament to compete for the National Title.
The team would like to thank all of the local attorneys and law firms that have generously donated money, as well as the Middlesex County Bar Foundation. Without these donations the team would not be able to travel to these competitions.
Pictured from left to right: Kim Aronow (Asst. Coach), Craig Aronow (Head Coach), Esther Kang, Greg Cui, Zaniah Maynor, Alexis Carrelli, Rachel Holt, Dhruv Patel and Greg Doukas