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Drake Mock Trial Team takes fourth at Cornshucker Invitational

November 8, 2007
Front row: Sarah Kucker, Tyler Buller, Lindsey Andersen. Back row: Kyair Butts, Amanda Wilwert, Nico
Front row: Sarah Kucker, Tyler Buller, Lindsey Andersen. Back row: Kyair Butts, Amanda Wilwert, Nicole Rogers, John Lande.

CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119,

Drake University's Undergraduate Mock Trial (DMT) Team 488 recently took fourth place at the Iowa Cornshucker Invitational – one of the most competitive tournaments across the nation. Team 488 went 6-2, competing against some of the nation's best, including University of California Los Angeles, Washington University, University of Minnesota, University of Iowa and University of Michigan.

This was the third tournament DMT has attended this year. The program picked up a fourth place finish at the Marcus Pohlmann Invitational in Mount Vernon and ninth and tenth place finishes at the Macalester Trials in St. Paul. Additionally, a team of new members had the opportunity to participate in a scrimmage with a team from Dubque’s Loras College last month.

"We're thrilled to be demonstrating success so early in the season, especially at this tournament, because teams successful there are successful throughout the year,” said John Lande, co-president of DMT and senior politics and environmental policy major from Huxley, Iowa.

In addition, Lande received an individual award for "Outstanding Witness," and Tyler Buller, sophomore politics major from Urbandale, Iowa, won "Outstanding Attorney."

The case is a sentencing hearing, taking place in the fictional state of Midlands. Typically, a collegiate mock trial criminal case requires the students to seek that the defendant either be found guilty or not guilty of a specific crime. This year, they are advocating whether the defendant goes to jail or gets probation.

"This year's case is different from past cases, because we're arguing new and different points of law," said Sarah Kucker, co-president of DMT and a senior psychology and philosophy major from Eagan, Minn. "Drake students are successful because we can adapt and think on our feet better than students at many other schools."

In two weeks, one of DMT’s teams will be competing in New York City at another highly competitive invitational hosted by New York University. This coming week, another of DMT's teams will be competing at a tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn.