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Mustang Mocker's Momentum Materializes

Cal Poly Mock Trial 2017Cal Poly Mock Trial A Team competing at the 2017 National Championship Tournament. Team members from left to right: Jesse Quiroz (Political Science), Deeksha Kohli (Political Science, ‘17), Chloe Loomer (Business), Zackery Michaelson (Political Science, ‘17), Rod Rahimi (Mathematics), Garrett Rutherford (Civil Engineering).


— By Justin Cooley

During the 2016-17 season, the Cal Poly Mock Trial program had the most successful year in team history. Each year, over 600 teams from universities around the country compete in American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Cal Poly traveled to  tournaments in Claremont, Fresno, Irvine, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Tempe. For the first time, Cal Poly Mock Trial earned a bid to the National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles to compete as one of the top 48 teams in the nation. Cal Poly triumphed over their frequent rival, UC Davis, and came within two points of defeating the reigning national champions from Yale University.

Cal Poly Mock Trial students often received individual recognition throughout the season. “A Team” attorneys Deeksha Kohli, Zackery Michaelson and Jesse Quiroz were repeatedly ranked highly by judges. Zackery Michaelson earned a “Top Attorney” award at the regional competition in Fresno. Witnesses Chloe Loomer, Rod Rahimi and Garrett Rutherford also received top ranks at many of the competitions. Cal Poly Mock Trial is not resting on its collective laurels, though. This year, the program hopes to travel with a third team, giving even more student team members the chance to develop their abilities. “As president this year, I hope to help our program advance more teams to higher levels of competition and to encourage our newer members to achieve as highly as we have in the past,” said 2017-18 Club President Erin Chazer (a double major in political science and English).

“Mock Trial made me believe in Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy by giving me an opportunity to come up with my own theories of the different cases,” Chazer adds. “It not only inspired in me a passion for the law that has helped me decide to apply for law school, but it also introduced me to some of the most influential people of my college career. I have seen the members of our program work together extensively and believe that Mock Trial helps students become connected to Cal Poly and to each other in a meaningful way.”

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