Casaletta and Opperman take in-house mock trial finals

Students Anthony Casaletta of Macomb Township and Matt Opperman of Midland won the Wayne State University Law School Mock Trial in-house final competition Monday, Nov. 9.

Casaletta and Opperman for the defense competed against Brooke Mathis of Whitmore Lake and Madeline Young of Troy, the finalist team for the prosecution.

The competition for fall semester began with 14 teams, each completing two trials, one as the prosecution and one as the defense.

Finalists were determined by win-loss ratio and point differential in those trials. In the criminal case for the finals, a defendant was charged with assault and domestic violence for allegedly hitting his girlfriend on the head with a hammer.

Serving as presiding judge was Dan Williams, Wayne Law class of 2008.

Other members of Mock Trial served as the jury. Members, first-year students and alumni were witnesses.

Mock Trial also recently selected its teams for two upcoming national competitions, one sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and one sponsored by the American Association for Justice. Both competitions will take place in the spring. The teams are:

Texas Young Lawyers Association

David Adgate of Ann Arbor; Brandon Barlog of Macomb Township; Alexander Kemp of Canton; Lena Pantely of Royal Oak; Madeline Young of Troy;

Alternates: Kaitlin Burwell of Bloomfield Hills and Anthony Casaletta of Macomb Township.

American Association for Justice

Ashley Attisha of West Bloomfield; Carley Kocks of Saginaw; Brooke Mathis of Whitmore Lake; Katie Stearns of Redford

Alternates: Michael Ajami of Dearborn; Patty Battersby of Farmington Hills; Sharae' Smiley of Detroit; and Amyra Woods of Detroit.

"Both competitions are a great way for students to gain trial experience by competing against students from other schools. After my partner, Lena Pantely, and I, along with John Scott Buell, class of 2015, won the Texas Young Lawyers Association Regional Competition last year and competed in the National Competition against the top students in the country, we have very high expectations this year," said Alexander Kemp, Mock Trial commissioner.

"Thanks to Professor Lawrence Mann, Mock Trial faculty advisor and the head coach for both national teams, all the new competitors are starting at a high level. They've taken the new Mock Trial workshop, where they learned the basics of trial advocacy and evidence. With the help of our other coaches, Greg Wix, Paul O'Neil, Kristyn Mattern and Allegra Lanni, Wayne Law is laying the foundation for a strong Mock Trial program, and I am proud to be a part of it."

Published: Thu, Dec 17, 2015

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