January 24, 2013
St. John’s University Mock Trial Team captured third place in the
First Annual Drexel University Invitational Tournament on January
18–20 in Philadelphia, PA. It was the last competition before the
upcoming Atlantic Regional Tournament.
The Red Storm defeated LaSalle University, Rutgers University
and Drexel’s home team. St. John’s only loss came in a close trial
against Temple University, the eventual tournament champion. In
addition to the team’s finish, co-captain Peter Ozelius ’13SJC was
named one of the five outstanding student attorneys.
“We used this tournament to give our rookies competition
experience, and we still performed extremely well as a team,” said
Bernard Helldorfer, Esq., ’77CBA, ’80L, Professor and Chair of
Criminal Justice and Legal Studies in the College of Professional
Studies. “It was a very encouraging sign for next year when we will
be without our four veteran graduating seniors.”
Helldorfer is co-coach of St. John’s team, which consists
of 11 undergraduate students from across the University. Also
serving as co-coach is Oscar Holt, Esq., ’73C, ’76Ed, ’79L,
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies.
The competition simulated a real court case, with students
playing the roles of attorneys for both plaintiff and defense, as
well as witnesses. Points were awarded based on students’
individual performances. The case was a civil lawsuit for wrongful
death brought by the spouse of a person who perished during a scuba
diving expedition to a sunken yacht. The spouse claimed extreme
recklessness on the part of the diving outfit that organized and
guided the dive.
Now in its 21st year, St. John’s looks forward to this season’s
Regional Tournament on February 1–3, which will be hosted by Roger
Williams University in Bristol, RI. The St. John’s team will have
to finish among the top eight schools to once again advance to the