For Immediate Release
April 11, 2017

Contact: Elizabeth Lowham

Cal Poly Mock Trial Team Earns Bid to Compete at National Championship

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Mock Trial Team has earned a bid to compete at the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles on April 21-23. This is the first-time Cal Poly has earned a spot in the prestigious national tournament.

Cal Poly’s A Team finished in the top six teams in their Opening Round Championship Series in Fresno on March 25-26. Team members are political science students Deeksha Kohli (San Jose), Zackery Michaelson (Visalia) and Jesse Quiroz (Orange); business student Chloe Loomer (Los Gatos); mathematics student Rod Rahimi (San Luis Obispo); and civil engineering student Garrett Rutherford (Girdwood, Alaska).

“I could not be prouder of our team and their awesome work,” said Elizabeth Lowham, chair of the Cal Poly Political Science Department.

Every year, AMTA publishes a fictitious legal case, and teams from across the country argue the case in front of real judges. Universities field teams that compete during rounds that last about three hours, during which one college represents the prosecution and the other represents the defense.

Nationally, during the 2016-2017 season, there were more than 600 teams competing in AMTA competitions. Cal Poly’s A Team is now one of only 48 teams in the nation that will compete at NCT — the final round of the AMTA's annual national tournament structure.

Under the direction of Justin Cooley, a lecturer in the Political Science Department, 32 students from across the university participated in Mock Trial during the 2016-17 season. The teams competed in five invitational tournaments and two scrimmages, including their first invitational outside of the state of California. Three teams competed in two regional tournaments; one at the Pomona/Claremont McKenna Colleges and one at Arizona State. At the Pomona/Claremont McKenna Regional Competition, Michaelson won a best regional attorney award.

- Cal Poly Political Science Department:
- Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts:
- American Mock Trail Association (AMTA):

About Cal Poly Mock Trial
Cal Poly Mock Trial was started in 2006 by a student in political science. Over the past 10 years, the program has involved more than 100 students from across all the colleges and is one of the most successful embodiments of the Learn by Doing philosophy in Political Science. Students prepare for these tournaments by learning about case law, statutes, affidavits and the rules of evidence, which are largely identical to the Federal Rules of Evidence. They do this by enrolling in POLS 295, Foundations of Mock Trial, and POLS 395, Advanced Mock Trial, and by participating in the Mock Trial Club.

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