Shawn Olstein ’21
The Trinity College Mock trial team won third place out of fifteen teams at their tournament over the weekend. The tournament took place over Nov. 2 and 3 at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Each day of the tournament consisted of two trials, one beginning at 9:00am and the other at 2:00pm. Each trial contained two judges, each of which would score the teams and determine a winner by awarding them a ballot. Trinity’s prosecution and defense went to trial once a day either in the morning or afternoon. Of the eight total ballots available, Trinity won five, lost two, and tied one. The prosecution consisted of three lawyers: Amber Montalvo ’20, John Lawson ’20, and Aidan Arnold ’21, along with three witnesses: Shawn Olstein ’21, Julia Lee ’21, and Charlotte Noedlinger ’23. The defense lawyers were Olivia Louthen ’22, Aidan Arnold ’21, and Allison Rau ’23, along with Shawn Olstein ’21, Olivia Zeiner-Morrish ’22, and Reagan Flynn ’23 as witnesses.
As one of their first tournaments of the year, Trinity’s mock trial team hopes to continue their momentum into further victories. In response to the team’s victory coach Professor of Public Policy Glenn Falk stated, “Forget law school. Forget the bar exam. This team is already a great law firm. I am so proud to be associated with it.” Team Captain Amber Montalvo ’20 told the Tripod, “The past three years on this team have been fundamental to my growth. I am incredibly grateful to be leading this year. This past weekend particularly has demonstrated our grit and potential. We are coming hard for regionals!”
The court case used for the tournament is the fictional Ryder v. Midlands. Jordan Ryder, played by Olivia Zeiner-Morrish ’22, stands accused of being responsible for the death of her “daughter” Parker Paige on a camping trip. The trial consist of a host of characters including a detective played by Shawn Olstein ’21, a café owner played by Charlotte Noedlinger ’23, a social worker played by Reagan Flyn ’23, and two Doctors played by Julia Lee ’21 and Shawn Olstein ’21. The prosecution is given the choice to charge the defendant with either murder or manslaughter, Trinity chose to prosecute a charge of murder, arguing the defendant pushed her daughter off a cliff with a hiking staff. Trinity’s defense argues the death of the daughter was accidental as the girl had a severe form of osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic bone disease commonly known and brittle bone disease.
Trinity’s mock trial team has an upcoming trial at Fordham University and hopes to continue in their courtroom success.