ITHACA, N.Y. — The Rutgers University Mock Trial Association (“RUMTA”) finished in third place at the Cornell University “Big Red” Invitational on Jan. 26 and 27 in Ithaca, N.Y. Rutgers University’s top undergraduate mock trial team faced a competitive field that included teams from Yale University, Columbia University, Princeton University, George Washington University, and Cornell University.
The competition consisted of four trials, each scored by two judges. The trials were based upon a wrongful-death suit filed against a scuba diving company and involved two affirmative defenses as well as highly challenging evidentiary issues. Making its first appearance at Cornell’s Invitational, the Rutgers A-Team won six of the eight judges’ scorecards to finish third. The team has now placed in the top-5 at all three of its invitational tournaments this season.
Two Rutgers team members received individual Top Attorney Awards: RUMTA’s President Zaniah Maynor, the closing attorney for the plaintiff, and Gregory Cui, the closing attorney for the defense. Zaniah Maynor offered the following on the experience, “Our success was made possible by the tremendous dedication shown by this team and the outstanding coaching we have been so fortunate to receive. As excited as we are, we know that this is just the first step towards our true goal. With Regionals less than two weeks away, we will continue to push ourselves to become another National Championship-caliber Rutgers mock trial team.”
The American Mock Trial Association’s regional competition will be held at Penn State University on Feb. 9 and 10. If the team can place one of its two squads in the top eight at Penn State, they will move on to the Open Round Championships to compete for a spot in the National Championship Tournament. (RUMTA finished #2 in the nation in last year’s competition.)
The team is coached by Middlesex County Bar members Craig Aronow of Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo in New Brunswick, Michael Roberts of Roberts & Teeter in New Brunswick and Kimberly Yonta Aronow.
RUMTA receives a significant portion of its funding from local attorneys, law firms, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the Middlesex County Bar Foundation.