Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Washington Adventist University Mock Trial Team Participates For Second Year in American Mock Trial Association Competition

The Mock Trial Team at Washington Adventist University (WAU) competed for the second year in a row at an American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) competition.
Story by Donna Bigler

The team competed over the weekend in the Baltimore Regional Competition at the University of Maryland School of Law. The competition included teams from Howard, Princeton, Towson, Mount St. Mary’s, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, William & Mary, Swarthmore and Bucknell universities.

“The Mock Trial Competitions offer wonderful opportunities for our students to gain relevant experience in the field of law,” says Joan Francis, chair of the History and Political Studies Department at Washington Adventist University. “We work hard to challenge and educate our students beyond the classroom so that when they graduate, they are better prepared to pursue their goals.”

Washington Adventist University is the first and only Adventist institution of higher education to participate in the AMTA’s Mock Trial Competition. Last year, the WAU team competed for the first time, taking part in the Richmond Regional Competition after being granted a Sabbath exemption. That exemption enabled the team (many of the members are Adventist) to compete at times that did not conflict with their Sabbath. The team competed in Round 1 on Friday afternoon at noon; Round 2 on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m.; Round 3 on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.; and Round 4 on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The closing ceremony was held on Sunday at 6:00 pm.

In this year’s competition, John Hofilena served as team captain. He is a senior who is majoring in political studies and minoring in marketing, and he represented a lawyer in the competition. Other team members include: Zjayah Baker, a sophomore political studies major who represented a lawyer; Arlindo Dos Santos, a senior political studies major (prelaw emphasis) who represented a lawyer; Eloney Perry-Ryan, a first-year political studies major (prelaw emphasis) who represented a lawyer; Shavonne Cadette, a junior political studies major who represented a witness; Jacky Jeanty, a senior theology major (prelaw emphasis) who represented a witness; Candice Green, a junior English major (prelaw emphasis) who represented a witness; and Lillian Wanjiku, a junior history major (prelaw emphasis) who also represented a witness. Melayna Brown, a junior political studies major served as the Time Keeper during the competition. Attorney coaches for the team are Petra Aaron and Joseph Caleb.

Teams in the competition are rewarded for witnesses and lawyers, as well as for overall teams. WAU received an award for Witness for the Plaintiff, Candice Green.

Four team members participated in both years’ competitions. They include Hofilena, Cadette, Wanjiku and Brown. Students are invited to join the Mock Trial team, based on their participation in the class PLST 275, American Judicial System.

For more information about the Mock Trial Team, email or call 301-576-0110.

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