Rhodes Mock Trial Teams Ready to Host and Compete in Opening Round of Nationals

group shot of mock trial teams with some of the members holding trophies

Two Rhodes mock trial teams will host and compete in the Memphis Opening Round of the National Championship Tournament to be held March 23-25 at the D’Army Bailey Courthouse. The tournament is sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA).

“It’s our best opportunity to show what we’ve been working so hard on this year and to really demonstrate the kind of excellence Rhodes represents in collegiate mock trial,” says Daniel Elliott ’19. 

Besides two teams from Rhodes, schools participating in this year’s Memphis tournament are the University of California at Berkeley, Baylor University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Millsaps College.

The Rhodes Mock Trial program also has invited Tennessee lawyers and judges to participate in the tournament that will consist of one round Friday afternoon, two rounds on Saturday, and one round on Sunday morning. From the eight opening round sites, 48 teams will advance to the April 20-22 National Championship Tournament in Minneapolis, MN.

Rhodes Team 872 is made up of Captains Meredith Clement and Christopher Meadows and competitors Jennifer Bitterly, Roman Darker, JD Deming, Devin Dunkley, Daniel Elliott, Matthew Hobbs, Connor Hurley, Jamarr McCain, and Christian Roberts. Team 872 is coached by Professor Mark Pohlmann. 

Rhodes Team 873 is made up of Captains Victoria Holder and Kelsey McClain and competitors Matthew Broussard, Turner Booth, Emily English, Ethan Fox, Sean Mattheisen, Ashley Plunk, Ried Roshong, Fisher Smith, and Lillie Stephens. Team 873 is coached by alumnus Mathew Jehl ’13.

Anna Eldridge ’02, director of Rhodes Mock Trial and pre-law advisor, coaches both teams. “Working with these incredibly talented students is such a joy, and getting to see their hours of preparation and practice pay off year after year is deeply emblematic of the excellence of our students,” she says. 

Mock Trial began at Rhodes in 1987, when the collegiate mock trial circuit consisted of only 56 teams. Since that time, the circuit has expanded to over 650 teams from more than 400 colleges and universities. Rhodes has appeared at the National Championship Tournament for every year of the Mock Trial program’s existence, an unchallenged 31-year streak as of Spring 2017.

Says Meredith Clement ’18, “Competing in a program like this one, against top-caliber teams from around the nation, has provided me a sense of fulfillment and belonging to a loyal program as well as  unyielding confidence in myself and my peers to present an argument in a clear and authoritative manner. I am thankful every day for the life skills, public speaking ability, and lifelong friendships that this program has given me.”