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Northwood’s Mock Trial team looks to build on 2016-17 season success

May 31, 2017

The 2016-17 season for Northwood University’s Mock Trial program is in the books, and another successful season is under the belts of the young team. This past season, Northwood competed in both invitational tournaments and two tournaments sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Mock Trial Awards from the 2016-17 season include:Fall Invitational Tournament, Wheaton College, October 2016

  • Devon Peasley, a third year BBA/MBA student, earned the most ranking points of all attorneys in the tournament on both the plaintiff and defense sides of the case.

  • Sophomore Chris Grant earned also earned an Outstanding Attorney Award on both the plaintiff and defense sides of the case.

  • Tyler Walker earned an Outstanding Witness Award in his first mock trial appearance.

Michigan State University Invitational Tournament, October 2016

  • Devon Peasley and Chris Grant were awarded Outstanding Attorney Awards.

Eastern Michigan University Invitational Tournament, November 2016

  • Freshman Josh Weckesser won his first Outstanding Attorney Award.

  • Freshman Parker Luchenbill earned his first Outstanding Witness Award.

Yale Invitational Tournament, December 2016

  • Chris Grant earned his third Outstanding Attorney Award.

NYU Invitational Tournament, January 2016

  • Chris Grant earned his fourth Outstanding Attorney Award.

  • For the second year in a row, Northwood won the Spirit of Empire Award, which recognizes the team that best exemplifies the ideals of civility, justice, and fair play at the Empire Mock Trial Tournament sponsored by NYU.

At the conclusion of February, only 192 of the 682 teams registered to compete were invited to the next level. Northwood University made the cut. Awards from the AMTA tournaments include:

AMTA Regional Tournament, Cleveland, Ohio, February 2016

  • Northwood won the trials against Duquesne University and Canisius College, and split scoring ballots with Michigan State University.

  • Northwood had two teams competing, the team that finished with a record of five wins and three losses earned the opportunity to continue in competition.

  • Freshman Kris Murphy earned his first Outstanding Attorney Award.

  • Sophomore Chris Grant earned an Outstanding Attorney Award.

AMTA Opening Round of Championship Series, Hamilton, Ohio, March 2017

  • Northwood split their first trial with Vanderbilt (by winning one scoring judge’s ballot, and Vanderbilt won the other scoring judges ballot).

  • In the second trial, Northwood won both ballots against University of Alabama – Birmingham.

  • In the third round, Northwood split ballots with Penn State.

  • In the fourth and final round, Northwood won its round against Notre Dame by earning 16 more points than Notre Dame on one scoring judge’s ballot and a tie on the other.

  • With a record of 5 wins, 2 losses and a tie, NU finished in 8th place out of 24 teams.

  • Sophomore Chris Grant ended the season earning yet another Outstanding Attorney Award.

Mock Trial is a competition where teams of students compete against other schools’ teams in an actual trial simulation. Students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses, and are scored for each role. Competitors gain a deep understanding of courtroom procedures, laws and the rules of evidence, as well as public speaking and critical thinking skills.

Northwood’s team competes in tournaments around the country against dozens of different teams. The first competition planned for the 2017-18 season will be in October at Ohio State University. The team, led by Northwood law professor DeLois Leapheart, expects at least 14 returning competitors for the 2017-18 season.

To learn more about mock trial at Northwood, please visit

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