The Missouri Southern Mock Trial team earned first place during the third annual Northern Texas Dallas/Fort Worth Invitational, held Oct. 25-26 in Plano, Texas.

Missouri Southern's Mock Trial team.

Missouri Southern’s Mock Trial team.

Competing against 17 other teams – including Baylor and the University of Texas – the Missouri Southern team participated in a series of rounds that simulate jury trials using materials provided by the American Mock Trial Association.

This year’s case is a civil action between the parents of two children. In 2010, Sydney Park invited classmate Jesse Duran to hang out at the Parks’ home. Both children were 11 years old. The Parks keep a gun in their home. That morning, the gun was discharged, killing Sydney. Sydney’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jesse’s parent, Hayden Duran.

Students competing in the tournament were Keegan Tinney, Cory Garr, Laurna Alumbaugh, Amanda Girdler, Duncan Street, Alissa Runge, Maria Julia Uchoa.

“Dr. Nicholas Nicoletti and I are very proud of these students and their success,” said Dr. JoAnna Derfelt, associate professor of political science and advisor for the mock trial team. “They put in a lot of long nights of hard work to prepare for these tournaments and the travel is exhausting.”

The team will next compete in an invitational at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., on Nov.21-14. The Mid-Missouri Tournament is set for Jan. 17-18, followed by an MSSU-hosted event on Jan. 24-25 and the regional tournament in February to determine which team will advance to the national competition.