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  • #31
    Originally posted by J.D. Lorean View Post
    Hi, I was wondering how one becomes an AMTA rep. I know there's an application, but I was wondering what the specific requirements are? Do you need a certain amount/kind of mock experience? How soon after graduating can you become one?
    You have to have not competed for at least two years. So for example if you go straight to law school you could rep your 3L year. I'm not on the committee but I think for younger grads they prefer people who have previously run the tab room at an invitational or have served as the host for one of our student-run regionals.
    I post in my personal capacity, not on behalf of AMTA.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by MizzouMock View Post

      You have to have not competed for at least two years.
      Why is this a thing then?

      In 2016 (less than two years ago), Samantha Hobbs competes for Miami University. In 2018, Samantha Hobbs is the AMTA rep for Kansas. Or is there just another Samantha Hobbs who has suddenly appeared in the Mock Trial Community?
      Last edited by TheGhostofChaseMichael; February 6th, 2018, 11:07 PM.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by pmgf View Post
        Yeah no. Adevans, AMTA is not some big business with a bunch of resources. It's a working board manned by volunteers, most of whom are full time attorneys / educators / both in addition to being full time coaches of competitive teams. And most of them host their own tournaments. Some of them even host 2 tournaments a year (1 invitational, 1 AMTA tournament, because they want to give back). They don't have the time or money or resources or connections to recruit judges for you. If you're a rising sophomore on a team with no adult coaches or institutional support, you're probably not a prime target for AMTA's host recruiting efforts. On the other hand, if you're an attorney coaching in a decent sized city with decent team support from your university and a reasonably large local bar, AMTA probably wants to talk to you, especially if there's no other regionals near you.

        There's also no way they can really vet volunteer judges. What are you going to do, send online quizzes that lawyers are required to take to make sure that they remember the definition of hearsay and that they're not mean and that they're not racist? Good luck with that.

        Also it's not true that to host next year, you had to have applied last year. That's the schedule for just the NCT (for good reason). For ORCS/Regionals, it's just the summer before. So, spring 2019 tournament applications are due this summer 2018, and so forth.

        And if you think that's still early, it makes sense why they have to recruit in the summer. Choosing everyone's dates, figuring out conflicts, working out team assignments, reaching out to other potential hosts once the deadline passes, etc. takes a lot of time. Starting during the summer when there's no competitions to be prepping can free up a bit of time to focus on these kinds of admin things. Plus some venues like courthouses require tons of advance lead time to reserve, and some hosts might want to try for CLE credit and the deadlines for those applications can be early depending on the state, so getting dates approved early is important. Also, since judge recruitment takes an insane amount of time, it's not a bad idea to send a "save the date" judge recruitment months in advance.


        Also, @ all of you reading, if you DO want AMTA to eventually be in a position where it could just hand over lists of judges to new regionals hosts, sign up as an alum when you graduate and get put on judges lists. That's the best way to increase our pool of good judges and it's a way you can keep giving back to this organization.
        I'm so sorry if I offended you in my reply. I was really just trying to make some observations that I had seen. I am not an AMTA rep, but would love to be one at some point, and I was posting here to get a better understanding. I feel that there is a lot of aggression in the above comment so I don't want to get into an argument or anything. I want to clarify my two suggestions:

        1) If AMTA had a list where people could sign up to be judges, it would make it easier to host. AMTA could have a minor vetting process just to ensure that they had taken a certain number of law school courses or participated in AMTA or something like that in the past. Then from this list they can put together a regional group of people where the host can just email blast a bunch of people who have already displayed interest. You mentioned that something like that exists "get put on judges lists". I did not know it existed, but if it does, it is a great idea. I think that even if not everyone responds to it, they could just have a link on the AMTA website where people can sign up and where hosts can access the list of judges in their area. Over time hopefully the list would get big enough to make a real difference. I don't think this would require much work on AMTA's end because, to your point, AMTA is a volunteer system and I get that they don't have time or resources to help more than they already do.

        2) I am more on the fence about this, but I feel like smaller regionals could be an interesting development. I get that it requires more AMTA reps if we still want two at each, and I understand the logistical issues involved. But, I feel like it would make finding judges easier since it would spread out the work among more hosts. Also, by having more tournaments it should make it easier to more fairly distribute power. Additionally, this would allow for less traveling ideally if there are more tournaments, so there should be tournaments closer to people. Again, this may not be super realistic at the moment, but I wonder if as AMTA grows and gains more reps (hopefully), that this will become a possibility.

        Again, please understand that I mean no offense in my comments. Just let's please avoid condescension and aggression. I know mock trial can make people heated, but I think this is a wonderful forum and a resource, and I would hate to see it taken over by people who want to vent or attack people.

        Comment


        • #34
          No offense was taken and I'm not interested in arguing with you either, so we're on the same page. You've suggested in 2 threads that AMTA recruit judges for its sanctioned tournaments. that's far removed from the board's current capabilities so I was laying out all the factors that might not be apparent, to reframe your understanding. Glad you're interested in staying involved - new guard replacing old guard is a great thing for keeping AMTA alive and its ideas fresh.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by TheGhostofChaseMichael View Post

            Why is this a thing then?

            In 2016 (less than two years ago), Samantha Hobbs competes for Miami University. In 2018, Samantha Hobbs is the AMTA rep for Kansas. Or is there just another Samantha Hobbs who has suddenly appeared in the Mock Trial Community?
            Like I said, I'm not on that committee. Could be I just misunderstood their standard and it's 2 years after graduation not 2 years between graduation and repping.
            I post in my personal capacity, not on behalf of AMTA.

            Comment


            • #36
              Johnathan - as someone who's been deeply involved in AMTA for a while, you presumably have seen your fair share of mock trial. I was wondering if there are any mockers that stand out to you as the best you've ever seen? Who has impressed you the most?

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by DefenseMid View Post
                Johnathan - as someone who's been deeply involved in AMTA for a while, you presumably have seen your fair share of mock trial. I was wondering if there are any mockers that stand out to you as the best you've ever seen? Who has impressed you the most?
                These are my faves. Curious as to how many make it on his list

                Iain Lampert - UCLA
                Kyle deCamp - UCLA
                James Caress - UCLA
                Alexander Hill - UCLA
                Rahul Harit - UCI
                Neil Thakor - UCI
                Calvin Love - UCI
                Ben Wallace - UVA
                Raymond Zhu - Yale

                (Yea, I'm a little West Coast biased...)

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by DefenseMid View Post
                  Johnathan - as someone who's been deeply involved in AMTA for a while, you presumably have seen your fair share of mock trial. I was wondering if there are any mockers that stand out to you as the best you've ever seen? Who has impressed you the most?
                  Great question. What's funny is as a non-coach Rep, often times the only times I see a case tried are judging a scrimmage before NCT and then the NCT final round. So I definitely see less actual trial than someone who's out on the coaching circuit, and what I do see is more in bits and parts. The past few years I've tried to make a point of sitting in on parts of rounds at ORCS just so I can see the pre-Nationals case in action.

                  In no particular order other than maybe chronological, here are the names that come to mind:
                  Attorneys
                  Amanda Bonn - UCLA
                  Jonathan Hartsfield - Northwood
                  Andrew Blackwell - GW
                  Brandon Hughes - UCLA
                  Dani Kunkel - Miami
                  Iain Lampert - UCLA
                  Allie Piacenti - UVA

                  Witnesses
                  Bryce Rucker - Northwood
                  Jean Paul Jacquet - Harvard
                  Irene Downs - UMKC
                  Bill Visone - NYU
                  Iain Lampert - UCLA
                  Amanda Mundell - UCLA
                  Neil Alacha - Harvard
                  Allison Durkin - Yale

                  I've seen every final round since 2008, and the 2015 final round (Harvard v Yale--Ginger vs. Heisman) is my favorite to date. Awesome presiding judge and two very evenly balanced teams that executed almost flawlessly.
                  I post in my personal capacity, not on behalf of AMTA.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by MizzouMock View Post

                    Great question. What's funny is as a non-coach Rep, often times the only times I see a case tried are judging a scrimmage before NCT and then the NCT final round. So I definitely see less actual trial than someone who's out on the coaching circuit, and what I do see is more in bits and parts. The past few years I've tried to make a point of sitting in on parts of rounds at ORCS just so I can see the pre-Nationals case in action.

                    In no particular order other than maybe chronological, here are the names that come to mind:
                    Attorneys
                    Amanda Bonn - UCLA
                    Jonathan Hartsfield - Northwood
                    Andrew Blackwell - GW
                    Brandon Hughes - UCLA
                    Dani Kunkel - Miami
                    Iain Lampert - UCLA
                    Allie Piacenti - UVA

                    Witnesses
                    Bryce Rucker - Northwood
                    Jean Paul Jacquet - Harvard
                    Irene Downs - UMKC
                    Bill Visone - NYU
                    Iain Lampert - UCLA
                    Amanda Mundell - UCLA
                    Neil Alacha - Harvard
                    Allison Durkin - Yale

                    I've seen every final round since 2008, and the 2015 final round (Harvard v Yale--Ginger vs. Heisman) is my favorite to date. Awesome presiding judge and two very evenly balanced teams that executed almost flawlessly.
                    You can't argue with that list; you can only add to it.

                    Attorney - Daniel Young - UVA
                    Witness - Yancy Cobb - Northwood
                    Double threat - Co'Relous Bryant - NYU

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Johnathan,
                      Is there any chance that AMTA could change the standard for regional tab summaries to include team letter as well as name? For example, instead of the tab summary saying "1985 Midlands State", saying "1985 Midlands State C" ? It would make reviewing tab summaries much easier.

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                      • #41
                        I have some younger students who want to learn how to tab. Johnathan, any suggestions for tournaments in recent memory with tough impermissible problems that would serve as good practice material?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by DefenseMid View Post
                          Johnathan,
                          Is there any chance that AMTA could change the standard for regional tab summaries to include team letter as well as name? For example, instead of the tab summary saying "1985 Midlands State", saying "1985 Midlands State C" ? It would make reviewing tab summaries much easier.
                          We have deliberately decided against doing this. While the assignments need to be specific in terms of team designation we want the results to be reflective of the program/school and not emphasize "the b team" or "the c team." This is especially because bids belong to the school and not to the specific team.
                          I post in my personal capacity, not on behalf of AMTA.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by pmgf View Post
                            I have some younger students who want to learn how to tab. Johnathan, any suggestions for tournaments in recent memory with tough impermissible problems that would serve as good practice material?
                            Round 4 of the 2015 Dallas Regional is the gold standard. Unfortunately it was hard enough the reps got it wrong, so you can't use the tab summary as your "answer key." If you want, I can PM you what I send out to the reps as the practice problem and the "answer key" which is a step by step discussion of each swap.
                            I post in my personal capacity, not on behalf of AMTA.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              There are many teams that go 0-8, 1-7, and other consistently very poor performances at regionals. Is there any conversation going on to maybe create separate divisions of AMTA? I don't think D1, D2, D3 makes sense to follow sports divisions, but would you ever consider a 2-tier system where there can be a tier for brand new programs or teams who normally end up with less than 2 wins at regionals separate from the top teams who just massacre them at regionals? I just don't think it is fun for anyone when you get an 0-8 team running into a nationals contender and the ballots going +40 on each.

                              Possibly just have like 4-5 regional tournaments for the Tier 2, and then a nationals tournament for them. All teams who have 4+ wins at Tier 2 Nationals can then move up to Tier 1.

                              I just think this would make the regional tournaments more interesting and would encourage more people to keep doing mock trial. It would also give new programs a better chance at success and would hopefully be less demoralizing than regionals can often be for them.

                              Curious to hear your thoughts on this subject.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Hi Adevans. AMTA used to have a system like that, with "Gold" and "Silver" national tournaments. I don't know if the split was based on the age of the program or simply ballots won at regionals, but they were separate tournaments. Often Silver nationals would take place after Gold had concluded. Not surprisingly, it wasn't super attractive and it wasn't unusual for schools to decline their bids. Dinosaur that I am, I'm glad because this allowed my hapless team to go when the teams above us stepped aside. Eventually there was a switch to have Silver occur before Gold, with the top Silver teams qualifying for Gold. This is pre-ORCs, getting out of regionals to Gold was much harder than today, so Silver basically became a super-hard version of our ORCs. In addition to bids, the top Silver teams got more practice with the case (no new case for the NCT) and (IIRC) the silver-qualified teams ended up doing very well. Strong teams had reasons to go to Silver and the smaller programs it was designed to help were marginalized again. Eventually that system died, I don't recall exactly when or why.

                                I know my team got annihilated by a powerhouse one year, but it was the best that ever happened to us. Once our heads stopped spinning, we evaluated what happened and upped our game. My impression is that the "top schools" have less of a death-grip on the rankings since ORCs came into play, in part because more schools have the opportunity to encounter more successful programs.

                                Anyhow, this suggestion does come up, but it would require more host schools and money that AMTA doesn't really have, and folks have different ideas on how to split the divisions. I hope my rough/incomplete history shows some of the pitfalls.

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