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Minnesota Judges Decide National College Mock Trial Winner

Posted: Monday, May 7, 2018

Real Minnesota jurists served as the deciders in the final trial round of the American Mock Trial Association’s 34th National Championship Tournament hosted at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, April 20-22. On a split decision, the all-Minnesota jury declared the team from Miami University of Ohio the winner over Yale University.

Presiding over the mock bank robbery trial was Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug. He fielded and ruled on numerous objections throughout the three-hour event. This was Justice Lillehaug’s second championship trial of the year; in March he presided over Minnesota’s high school tournament final.

The seven-member jury included Supreme Court Justice Anne McKeig, retired Justice Paul Anderson, Hennepin County District Judge Fred Karasov, Le Sueur County District Judge Mark Vandelist, Nicollet County District Judge Allison Krehbiel, Ramsey County District Judge Nicole Starr, and Scott County District Judge Christian Wilton.

To accommodate the large audience, the trial was held in the round on the basketball floor of the Hamline University Hutton Arena. “We don’t usually have trial spectators in bleachers, but the attorneys and witnesses were so outstanding we quickly disregarded our surroundings,” commented Justice Lillehaug. “We judged the trial lawyers and jurists of the future. It was a pleasure to judge the outstanding students from both universities.”