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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: The Reboot!

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  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: The Reboot!

    Greetings everyone,

    I decided to hold off on posting any rankings until invitational tournaments were complete. Since many teams don’t stack fully until January and since there are a host of great tournaments that month, it seemed worth waiting.

    The rankings of teams and individuals are NOT meant to be predictive, merely reflective. All I mean is that these are not predictions about where teams will finish at NCT or what individuals are most likely to win an All-American Award. I am only giving an evaluation of where teams are as of today based on what they’ve done this season.

    As always, I’ll remind you there is no exact science going on here. I’m more than happy for everyone to debate what I did or didn’t screw up, but I’d rather you debate on the teams and people since they are supposed to be the focus, not me.

    I’ll update the regional predictions each week. Happy reading! I hope this is what you were looking for.

    1. Duke: Duke benefited almost more than any other team by my delay in posting rankings. They have had an incredibly strong invitational part of the year but they were not winning tournaments. While they also didn’t win Downtown, some of those other teams (Irvine and UVa, mainly) failed to maintain the level they set in the first part of this season. Duke’s consistent results all season have them sitting at the top of my rankings right now. Duke is, overall, a more star-filled program than last year. Christian Theuer and Luke Shuffield lead the team as attorneys and make a great combination. Will Hawkins hasn’t been as good this year as he was last year as a witness, and his attorney role is still improving, but he’s still a huge boost to the team. Runners up at Beach Party and Downtown coupled with a 4th place finish at GAMTI make Duke the current number 1 team in the country. This team has the depth, experience, star power, and most importantly results to be number 1 as we start regionals.
    2. Rhodes: Rhodes probably benefited more than anyone else from my delayed release. I did not have a ton of information on Rhodes prior to Downtown and I wasn’t seeing results leap off the page at me either. What I’ve learned is this: in the two tournaments Rhodes has competed at in full strength (UGA and Downtown), they’ve won. That tells me a lot. A 3rd place finish without Dyer at TORO is also nothing to laugh at. Their GAMTI result is the sore thumb here, but I’ve been told they were really breaking in some new people at GAMTI and it was the weakest lineup of the A team they’ve had all year because of last minute changes. The witnesses are very impressive this year for Rhodes. Dyer is arguably (or maybe inarguably) the best witness in the country. Blanton, who I often said last year was a liability for Rhodes, is clearly in his comfort zone with Hathaway. The Connor and Allen Rhodes run are some of the best you’ll see at those spots all season and very realistic portrayals. The attorneys are all fine, but none truly standout on a star level. That said, they are not going to cost Rhodes rounds. I’m not ready to crown this team yet, but winning Downtown should have put everyone on notice that Rhodes is planning on staying at the very top of AMTA this year.
    3. Harvard: I’m not positive on this, but I’m pretty sure that Harvard has only lost one round all year (which was a 2-1 loss against UVa). Point is, they have a very strong case for being ranked number 1. Failing to win GAMTI or make the final round of Downtown is giving me pause to put them over Duke or Rhodes. Duke gets the nod over them for being the finals at Beach Party and Downtown and Rhodes gets the nod for winning Downtown and being on a hot streak. That said, these top three teams all have an argument for the top spot. In Harvard’s case, they have a talented group of attorneys lead by Fields and Wyatt. The witnesses, of course, continue to be a dominating aspect of the Harvard formula. I’ve often made a habit of underestimating Harvard in my rankings (a trait most definitely not shared Prog), but this year I don’t plan on doing that. Harvard’s creativity and controlled chaos continues.
    4. UC-Irvine: Winning Beach Party was the UC-I’s best result this year. Keep in mind, however, that the A teams (them and Duke) split and it was UC-I B that beat Duke B to secure the win. They have also finished top 5 at UCLASSIC and top 10 at Downtown. In December I would have said UC-I and UVa were the top 2 teams in AMTA (not necessarily in that order) both from invitational results, my opinion, and the opinions of my contributors. Since that time UC-I struggled a bit in New York stylistically (many of you were quick to point this fact out). When all said and done, there is no question about the talent of the coaching staff or the dedication of the students. Hari and Yousefi are both amazingly talented as well. I think a lot of my contributors really dropped their opinion of UC-I’s team this year based on the whispers from Downtown. I agree I’m not as high on them as I was in December, but I’m not going to overreact either. For now, they’ll sit at number 4. I’m looking to see if this team is more balanced than what I currently see. It seems like 2 or 3 members are top notch, but the others aren’t quite up to typical UC-I A team standards.
    5. UVa: No team has the top to bottom attorney talent of UVa this year. As you’ll see in my attorney rankings, I have a ton of respect for this group. The witnesses and case theories leave much to be desired. UVa’s consistency over the past several years has been rooted in a simple case theory presented by engaging and likable witnesses. This year the overall witness group is just not the same. I’m also not finding the case theory the most compelling version of the facts available this year. UVa is always polished and well prepared, which served them very well through the early part of the season. To me Downtown was not a fluke, but rather a sign that work needs to be done to really compete in their division at NCT. Between the early success, the attorneys, and the coaching staff, I think they can do it, but work must be done. While Downtown did weigh heavily in my ranking of them, I also can’t discount results like GAMTI and ToRo, so they enter regionals ranked 5th.
    6. Miami-Oh: This team will live and die, rise and fall, with Alex Block. This year everything Miami is doing seems to be about maximizing the value he brings to a round. I understand that, at most, he is worth 30 points on a ballot, but some attorneys have an intangible worth in a round. Block has such a unique style and unflappable presence that he can be one of those people. Sitting beside him are two professional, straight laced attorneys. Everything else is set up to be uncontroversial in order to let him shine. He’s a unique talent and Miami seems to be doing the right thing here (not unlike what Harvard would do with Resnek). Jackson and Guervich are missed for sure, but the roster is not devoid of talent. Ouambo proved at Downtown how valuable he is and O’Neal is holding her own quite well. I’m more impressed with Law than others are, but I worry about that third attorney slot. I think this team goes as far as Block can take them. In rounds he isn’t on or isn’t loved, the rest of the team may be in trouble. That said, he has shown this year that he can really pull the rest of the team with him. They beat UCLA at Downtown and barely missed the finals of Beach Party. In the long term, I see them behind UCLA, but for now they stay out in front by a spot.
    7. UCLA: The best description I heard about UCLA was that they are still trying to figure out their identity. The team (and program, really) is loaded with talent. A majority of members from the team that won NCT are still, believe it or not, competing. I think last year UCLA learned that the same old formula can’t always work. This year they are clearly trying to experiment and figure out the formula for success this year. They were completely unstacked in the fall, so it’s tough to judge all their finishes, but they still had impressive showings at Beach Party (“3rd place” if I recall) and solid finishes at Kentucky Classic and GAMTI. UCLASSIC and Downtown are both from their stacked team. I think the talent ceiling is still very high on this team as evidenced by the litany of individual awards and the praise many of you heaped on UCLA. One of the most important aspects about the team that won in 2011 was they were truly a unit with excellent chemistry and balance. If UCLA can figure out that magic formula they could once again push for a national title. Brandon Hughes is making a solid transition to the opening role and steadily got better over the course of this season. Lampert is really starting to take off as an attorney, but sometimes that wit of his will get him in trouble. Caress continues to lead the team and is having his best season to date. The one troubling move in my opinion is Mundell’s choice to compete on UCLA B. I’m sure they can get to NCT without her, but she remains the best expert in the country and that’s something you want if you plan on making a real push for a second national championship.
    8. UGA: UGA is back and back in a strong way. Like UCLA, they were not fully stacked first semester, so some of the results will be tough to judge. That said, they beat UCLA at Beach Party pretty handily, which is very impressive. It seems UGA has backed off of some of the aggression last year and it’s helping them a lot. Lauren Lutton has stepped up in the biggest way of all the competitors. Her abilities are through the roof this year and she rightfully belongs in the discussion for best female attorney in AMTA. Bennett is providing enough support at the attorney table to keep things interesting. I think UGA’s weakness this year is the lack of a stellar expert, though he is passable. Evans is the strongest witness they call and makes a great Fernandez. Moving out of Memphis and back to Greenville should also help ensure UGA gets back to NCT. Overall, this team is somewhat tough to judge because of not attending Downtown where all the other similarly ranked teams were, but I’m going out on a limb that these Dawgs are for real this year.
    9. Cal: The Bears take the 9th spot in the rankings. GAMTI and Downtown were impressive finishes for this team and prove they belong someone in the mix. Someone described them to me as clearly elite, but at the bottom end of the elite teams. I’d agree with that. They have experience going for them as well as some great cross examinations. I think they lack some of the signature flair or performances that leave them slightly less memorable than some of these other top 10 teams. Cahen is the star here and is giving some very good closing arguments this year, but I think he suffers from the same problem his team as a whole does. That is, he’s incredibly good, but also doesn’t stand out against some more dynamic attorneys. What I mean is that substantively he might give a closing that is as good as, say, Hari, but his lack of presence in comparison would likely cost him a point on the scorecard.
    10. Michigan: Fresh off of returning to NCT, Michigan seems to have not lost a step. Strong finishes at GAMTI and CUBAIT are encouraging for Michigan, but ToRo and HIT both leave a bit to be desired. Ryan Allison is having a stellar year for the most part, but has toed the aggression line a bit too much at times. This is another team I wish would have competed at Downtown to really help gauge where they are. I’ve been a strong Michigan supporter every season I’ve done rankings, I like they way they approach mock trial and especially the type of attorneys they run. I see the strong presentation and case theory as the upside here. I received enough positive words on this team to justify my intuition about their ability, so I’m ranking them inside the top ten.

      The Next Ten
    11. Texas: Hapsel has one of the better plaintiff closings in AMTA. Texas would be served by pulling him from his defense witness role.
    12. WashU: Nick Dumas is carrying this team for sure, but with his level of talent, that’s not a bad thing.
    13. UCSD: Experience, experience, experience. This team is full of vets and lead by Bitton and Nair. The ORC will be tough, though.
    14. Penn: Depth is an issue, but Friedel is probably the best cross examiner in AMTA right now.
    15. EKU: Josh Lang is a great attorney, and don’t discount winning the Kentucky Classic and the strong finish at GAMTI. Per usual the coaches have 1 team ready to go.
    16. Northwood: Torbert has competed some this year, and we saw what they can do at Downtown when he’s on the team. If he stays, they’ll jump up in the rankings.
    17. Columbia: Lots of experience on the top team and an aggressive group of attorneys. Rosenberg is the star, however, and an excellent witness.
    18. George Washington: They’ve been dealt killer schedules at most tournaments and are putting up solid numbers. Deeper than last year.
    19. Maryland: They return a good number of people and have done well enough this year to still be a threat. I’m waiting for a truly signature performance, which should come once they stack. Look out for Peter Gaynor.
    20. Vanderbilt: First at MTSU and second at ToRo are encouraging. Last year the team built some momentum before an ugly collapse, so I’ll remain lukewarm for now.

      But Don’t Sleep On

    • Arizona: They won UCLASSIC, but if you’ve been paying attention they’ve had solid finishes all seasons.
    • Pomona: They’ve had strong showings all season and clearly understand the west coast judging pool. It’ll be a crowded ORC field and they’ll add to that crowd.
    • NYU: Hard to imagine NYU falling into the “don’t sleep on” category, but the sentiment from my contributors has been very unenthusiastic about the team. Visone’s transition to attorney is still a work in progress, but the raw talent and coaching staff exist to pull this team together.
    • Macalester: Gowland leads a group of extremely talented witnesses that are doing everything they can to fill the attorney void. While we wait and see if attorneys will step up, the witness group is deep enough to make them a team to watch.
    • Minnesota Twin Cities: They’ve been stacked all year and cleaning up at the regional tournaments. I’ll take a gamble and say they hold their on nationally.
    • Iona: All female counsel table and they are a force to deal with.

    1. James Caress (UCLA): Last year I took some heat for his high ranking all year because he wasn’t having a strong start to the season. So, before you all jump down my throat and tell me this ranking is more of my bias and recycled opinions, consider his start to the season this year: won an award at every single tournament except for Downtown (where he still pulled something like 30 ranks I’m told); all of that is with Lampert and Hughes as his co-counsel. Considering regionals is where he typically takes off, I am confident saying he is currently the top attorney in AMTA and I wouldn’t be surprised as this spot remains with him all year. He currently seems a bit more comfortable on Plaintiff than defense, which could hurt him in these rankings if he doesn’t get as strong on the other side. For now, though, he gets the top spot.
    2. Rahul Hair (UC-I): We all know about his impressive knowledge of evidence and forceful courtroom demeanor. He’s always been an excellent as a closing attorney, but this year he is doing even better than he ever has at his statement. I’m not in love with his ability to open as compared to his ability to close. It’s not that he’s bad or anything like that, I just think he is stronger at closing by a decent margin. He’s going to have to carry his team a bit more than Caress will but he’ll also have an easier path to ranks and awards. He has an excellent chance to push for the number one spot.
    3. Amanda Swanson (UVa): There are lots of women at the top of AMTA this year and that’s just fine by me. None, however, stand out as much as Swanson. For whatever reason, I’m more high on Swanson this year than any of the other UVa attorneys, other female attorneys in AMTA, and really more than most anyone period. Swanson has it this year. I like her closing a bit more than opening (but this is mostly because Ross is just a great opening attorney), but she can do anything and succeed. Her southern charm is just brilliant and gives her one of the best styles for a female attorney. She doesn’t have to be overly stiff or professional, and that wonderful charm lets her really go after witnesses on cross. With NCT not being too far north, her accent shouldn’t be a liability (whereas in St. Paul stereotypes could have come into play). I really can’t give Swanson enough praise this year, I’m just in love with everything she is doing. I think the biggest change is that her content has become as effective as her style.
    4. Alex Block (Miami-Oh): Block (with the help of Miami) is really coming into his own in full force this year. He still has his moments of hyper-aggression, but unlike last season it is controlled and tactful. Of course anyone with a style like Block’s will put off the odd judge here or there, but this year he’s really figured it out. I thought his first year he had an endearing type of laid-back style that was still forceful. Last year I thought he lost some of that endearing colloquialism. This year he’s really balancing both. He is one of the more laid-back attorneys you’ll see (meaning that he isn’t very stiff in the courtroom), but he uses that be be aggressive when he needs to be. I’ve always loved Block as an opener, but there is no denying he has the potential to be a great closing attorney. I think he’s still working on exactly how to be perfect at it, but he’s still excellent. I’m not in love with his crosses of sympathetic witnesses, but his other crosses this year are excellent.
    5. Lauren Lutton (UGA): Surprised? Don’t be. Her awards speak for themselves and they are numerous this year. The biggest knock on her last year was that she was overly aggressive. She has toned down her aggression just enough to increase her likability, but she has is forceful in the courtroom. She is more professional this year which is helping to temper some of that aggression. Her defense closing is quite possibly the best one I’ve seen this whole year. I’m fairly unimpressed by her co-counsel, so perhaps that is skewing my perception of Lutton, but anyone who has seen her this year knows that she is probably worth the hype I’m giving her. Her Hathaway cross is also very creative.
    6. Megan O’Donnell (UVa): I was really a huge supporter of her closing abilities last season, but this year she just isn’t doing it for me. That said, she remains better than her teammates with evidence and gives the most aggressive and forceful cross examinations on UVa. Her experience is really shining this year in that regard as the is the most responsive cross examiner on her team and one of the most responsive in the country. Anyone who is winning awards with her co-counsel to compete with is truly a star. If her statement gets back to the level it has been in past year, she’ll easily jump into the top 5.
    7. Christian Theuer (Duke): I’ll argue right now that Theuer has as much to do with Duke’s success this year as anyone from the team that won. Losing D’Ippolito in particular left a void for an excellent statement attorney. Shuffield is doing his part for sure, but Theuer has emerged as one of the, if not the absolute, best openers in AMTA this year. One thing he really has going for him is likability, something his teammates don’t always have. My biggest complaints are he still seems weak with evidence and sometimes becomes one dimensional in his presentation. The counter to that is that his “one dimension” is exceptionally compelling. He’ll continue to grow this year and be atop the AMTA world by the start of next. His consistency and the value he brings at opening make him invaluable to Duke.
    8. Zach Fields (Harvard): Surprisingly for only a sophomore, Fields is better at cross examination than at his closing argument. He shines with experts where he can really attack what they say through his style (and in doing so take over the room). One other trait he has is that he really does a great job of getting judges to fall in love with almost by sucking up (but it’s done respectfully). This probably gives him much of that latitude for cross. For someone who is one of the best in AMTA, however, his closing leaves much to be desired. It is too stock in my opinion.
    9. Jalen Ross (UVa): That’s right, all 3 UVa attorneys are in the top 10 and no it’s not me being lazy and it’s not overkill. Have you seen these competitors? Ross, another sophomore, might be the single most likable male attorney in AMTA. He is the current best opening statement giver in AMTA for sure. My main complaint is his cross examinations seem more about his likable style than about really going after the merits of the witness. I’m not sure if this is a UVa decision to simply ride his likability to high scores, or if his inexperience and youth means they keep him on a short leash, but either way I’d like to see more brutal cross examinations.
    10. Jay Friedel (Penn): Watching him this year is truly amazing. I have to admit I did not see this talent level coming. Perhaps his witness background gave him a great foundation for cross examination, but whatever his deal is, just wow! His Rodgers cross is second to none this year. His closing is very good, but lacks some of the force and creativity from his cross. He is so composed in the courtroom on cross though, it will almost look like a direct. He is the most in-control cross examiner I’ve seen this year. Also, Friedel’s knowledge of evidence is on par with Hari’s.

      The Next Ten
    11. Brandon Hughes (UCLA): His directs and crosses remain amazing. He is so good directing experts. Once he removes a bit of that argumentative nature from his openings, he’ll likely return to the top 10.
    12. Dale Torbert (Northwood): He is one of the most smooth attorneys in AMTA and everything always looks planned. I’ve never fawned over his closings because of the lack of creativity within them, but the presentation style is what makes him so dangerous.
    13. Luke Shuffield (Duke): When he’s on, he’s clearly a top 10 attorney. His tendency to over-object is a weakness and his likability varies round to round. When he’s really being likable he can steal the show (like in the 5th round). His closings have been good.
    14. Ryan Allison (Michigan): His cross examinations have a good blend of aggression and common sense questions. Can really trap a witness without every needing an export report. Statements and objections will get too much at times.
    15. Ayelet Bitton (UCSD): Has an encyclopedic knowledge of the facts and evidence. Really can use anything to make her point. Her crosses can get off point and bogged down in unnecessary detail at times, but when she is on point, she teases every little bit out of that point.
    16. Stephen Hapsel (Texas): Closing is clearly his strong point this season. I think the substance of cross examinations could be stronger. His style, however, is where he is really making his points and this leads to very engaging directs.
    17. Jeff Wilke (Brown): Very natural attorney with lots of experience. Lacks a high level of passion, but makes up for it with excellent and forceful logic (not unlike Doug Haefele). Still struggles on cross with aggressive witnesses.
    18. Nick Dumas (WashU): Defense closing is nearly perfect in every sense of the word. I think his direct examinations are too stiff and formal.
    19. Josh Cahen (Cal): Solid in everything expect for raw presence or memorableness. He is very clean with almost no mistakes in a trial.
    20. Casey Khademi (Stanford): Strong closing arguments with a higher level of drama than most female attorneys use. She can be very aggressive on cross. I think her use of evidence (both in terms of when she objects and the substance of her arguments) are a spot for improvement.

      But Don’t Sleep On

    • Matt Jehl (Rhodes): Comes across very likable in rounds which helps him on cross no matter what either by out charming characters or granting him leeway for aggression with experts. Very imprecise, however, with case facts and questioning.
    • Laureen Bousmail (UC-I): Very quick witted which makes both her cross and closing amazingly responsive and creative. Really struggles with evidence.
    • Ryan Lyk (Minn. Twin Cities): Fairly compelling statements and cross examinations. Seems a bit weak on evidence. Mostly unknown in terms of how he’ll do against top talent.
    • Graham Wyatt (Harvard): Very likable attorney and gives well structured cross examinations. Hard for him to really shine sitting next to Fields, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn his scores are much stronger than his ranks.
    • Jeff Campell (Duke): Has shown flashes of being an excellent defense opener. The problem is I think what one judge will see as well-reasoned and tempered logic, the other will see as a bit boring. Has shown the cross examination skills to really step up, but again, consistency is the question mark.

    1. Pauline Dyer (Rhodes): At this point there is little debate over whether or not she is the best witness in AMTA. Never loses her likability and has an uncanny way to say the most damning things ever without sounding at all like an advocate.
    2. Dee Oliver (NYU): See above. In all seriousness, she does much of what Dyer does but lacks the experience.
    3. Amanda Mundell (UCLA): As discussed before, I don’t love the fact she’s on the B team this year because she remains the best expert witness in the country. Word is she had some struggles in the January invitationals in terms of likability and ranks, but of course she’s holding her own on cross quite well. Her and Hughes made one of the best attorney-witness pairs I’ve ever seen and their styles matched each other so perfectly. That said, she has a natural professionalism that stands on its own just fine.
    4. Georgia Stasinopolus (Harvard): Her Nelson is just soaring this year. Harvard has perfectly matched her and character. She is incredibly engaging and believable on direct, but like all top experts her true strength is in cross. For her, she’s very effective at just telling the crossing attorney they are flat-out wrong. Many witnesses try to hedge on answers and she gives confident and bold answers but doesn’t get herself trapped. A lot of teams feel confident crossing Nelson, but be warned when facing her.
    5. Will Hawkins (Duke): The whole quirky thing wasn’t clicking so naturally at the start of the year. I think the heavy level of inherent bias in Johnson made it a bit tougher to sell, but Hawkins stuck with it and it’s finally at the level we expect from his experts. He keeps that positive and happy outlook but doesn’t have lost on him the seriousness of the case given that a diver died and his industry as a whole would be under some scrutiny. I find his direct more lacking than his cross, and it’s for this reason he stays ranked in the top 5.
    6. Mazamir Yousefi (UC-I): One of the most well developed and “real” portrayals of a witness I’ve ever seen in mock trial. It rivals Bryant’s Davis from a few years back in terms of the raw power. Just simply stellar.
    7. Yasmin Hadian (Cal): Second only to Yousefi for sympathetic witness this year. She can really cry a lot and I don’t know how well that meshes with Allen, but she’s clearly working to adapt. She’s holding her own on the very challenging Allen cross. Though the crying might be much at times, I think she still builds a solid reputation with the judges on direct that carries over to her cross.
    8. Bill Visone (NYU): The Fernandez is right in his wheel house. Just charming enough and just funny enough. I’m not sure if he’ll be staying with a witness all year, but up until now he’s been stellar.
    9. Brandon Hughes (UCLA): He bounced around a lot in the early part of the year, but the role he’s settled into is great. Playing a character witness really proves how varied Hughes is as a mocker. Though he hasn’t had the role for long, I’m factoring in the fact he finished as best witness in the country last year (according to yours truly) and looking ahead with confidence. The humor in his role is just right, but he could ease up a bit on cross (he’s not the cop anymore!).
    10. Veronica Evans (UGA): She strikes the balance of energetic but realistic as good or better than anyone else on this list. The humor in the direct and backstory is great, but it’s not forced jokes and bad one liners. Actually reminds me (and more than a handful of you) of Beltzer. The deftness on cross isn’t there, but I don’t think UGA has ever been described as deft or subtle. She is the exact witness UGA needs to anchor their team. I wish she was stronger on the defense side though.

      The Next Five
    11. Carwin Kata (Harvard): How is that every year Harvard finds someone with a dream voice? Seriously? Anyway, that plays a huge role in why he’s so engaging as an expert. Of course, he plays it a bit fast and loose with the facts (so be ready) but he holds up wonderfully on cross examination. Best Johnson at Downtown says a lot.
    12. James Todd (Rhodes): Was Carey Connor written for him? If you’ve seen him then you understand what I mean. While most Connor’s try too hard to “be military”, he seems to just act naturally and is military (maybe he is?). Anyway, lots of teams have good Connors, but none rival Todd. His direct is a 10 every time.
    13. Leah Rosenberg (Columbia): She has one of the most endearing presentation styles you’ll see this year. It really helps undercut the bias that goes with playing Johnson. She can get too fighty on cross examination, but overall I think she sets herself up well for doing it with her directs.
    14. Bradley Ouambo (Miami-Oh): He has a huge range he can do and has shown lots of it this year. I’m a big fan of his Rodgers, but when it’s toned down and a bit more serious than the super character version. I will say that he is the most polarizing of the witnesses ranked here, but his raw talent is substantial. Given Miami is taking some big chances anyway this year, he’s the type of witness they need.
    15. Anya Havriliak (UVa): Havriliak is the most engaging and polished of the UVa witnesses. Her direct this year still isn’t what I’ve come to expect from her or the team (her Foster was very engaging). That said, she’s eeks out the final spot because her experience has helped her greatly on cross this season. While she isn’t exactly dominating her directs, I haven’t seen her lose a cross this year and I haven’t heard anyone tell me about an attorney really getting the best of her. She has a professionalism that might be a bit bland, but never would be mistaken for a biased advocate.

    But don’t Sleep On
    • Kyle DeCamp (UCLA): UCLA’s most consistent scoring witness. Very professional but full of personality (not unlike Mundell). He’ll continue to be a rock for the A team.
    • Jared Blanton (Rhodes): Hathaway is a tough role to play on cross examination without looking defensive. Blanton always just looks correct.
    • Sheila Mojtahedi (UC-I): A different type of Rodgers than most in terms of the direct and backstory. Perhaps a bit love it/ hate it. I’m placing her here, so you can guess I love it.
    • Marquies Robinson (Duke): Was absent from Downtown and played around with some attorney roles early in the year. What little we’ve seen, however, confirms he is still at the very top.

    Regionals (First Weekend)
    Bristol: Harvard A, Princeton B, Roger Williams A, St. John’s A, Penn C, Brown A, King’s College A

    Chapel Hill: Washington and Lee A, UGA A, Maryland A, GW A, UNC B, USC A, Duke C

    Manchester: Boston College A, Tufts A, Brandeis A, Umass A, Dartmouth A, Clark A, Boston University A

    Minneapolis: Macalester A, Minn Twin Cities A, Wheaton A, Hamile A, Wisc. Superior A, Macalester B, Hamline B

    Sacramento: Stanford A, Cal A, UCSB A, Fresno A, UCLA B, UC Davis A, UCSC A

    (Second Weekend)

    Baltimore:UVA A, UVA B, American A, Patrick Henry B, Richmond A, Maryland B, William and Mary A

    Kansas City: WashU A, WashU B, Quincy A, Iowa A, St. Thomas A, South Dakota A, Missouri-Kansas City

    San Diego: Irvine A, Pomona A, Arizona State B, Arizona B, Claremont McKenna A, UCLA C, Redlands A

    State College: Rutgers A, Georgetown A, Georgetown B, George Washington B, Swarthmore A, Ithica A, Drexel A,

    Washington (Pa): Pitt A, Cincinnati A, Miami-Oh B, Howard A, Ohio State B, Michigan B, Case Western A

    (Third Weekend)
    Atlanta: Duke A, Duke B, UNC A, UGA B, UGA C, Tennessee A, Emory A

    Cedar Rapids: Northwestern A, Northwestern B, Cornell A, Cornell B, Loras A, Grinell A, DePaul A

    Dallas: Collin A, Rhodes A, Texas A, Texas B, St. Thomas A, Houston Baptist A, SMU A

    Joliet: Chicago A, Chicago B, Michigan A, Lewis A, Lewis B, Illinois A, Saint Francis A

    Lancaster: Patrick Henry A, Columbia A, Columbia B, Harvard B, Ursinus A, Delaware A, Temple A

    Orlando: Furman A, Furman B, Elon A, Florida State A, Florida A, UCF A, UCF B

    Topeka: Air Force A, Saint Louis, Drake A, Loyola Chicago A, Creighton A, Truman State A, Washburn A

    (Fourth Weekend)

    Boston: NYU A, Suffolk A, Princeton A, Holy Cross A, NYU B, Wesleyan A, Amherst A

    Buffalo: Rochester A, Canisius A, Syracuse A, Michgian State A, Cornell A, Penn State A, Penn State D

    Cincinnati: Ohio State A, EKU A, Bellarmine A, Carnegie Mellon A, Miami-Oh A, Indiana A, Cincinnati B

    Claremont: Arizona A, UCSD A, UCLA A, UC-I B, Arizona State A, Scripps, Fresno State B, Claremont McKenna B

    Corvallis: Gonzaga A, Washington A, UC-Berkeley B, Oregon State A, Oregon A, Portland A, Reed

    Jackson: Vanderbilt A, UAB A, Rhodes B, Mississippi A, MTSU A, Vanderbilt B, Rhodes C

    New Haven: Iona, Lafayette A, Wellesley A, Brandies B, Yale A, Penn A, Swarthmore A

    Notre Dame: Northwood A, Northwood B, Loyola B, Notre Dame A, St. Olaf A, Illinois State, Wisconsin-Madison A

    Last edited by Prodigal Daughter; February 22nd, 2013, 10:46 AM.

  • #2
    Someone call Reese Gardner, this is a severe case of SSDD (same shit, different day).


    • #3
      Still an interesting read.
      E -S- M


      • #4
        Ignore the negativity. This site has been dead for a while now. Not everyone will post but I know a lot of people read these and talk about them. It's obvious this one took a lot of work and obvious that you had decent sources. Good read. Thanks!

        The sanctioned tournaments are going to be interesting. So many "top teams" have been up and down in terms of results with splits and losses to one another in the invitational season. I know this is always true with AMTA but it really feels like anything can happen this season with all the talent out there. Can't wait to see how everything shakes out.

        I find it hard to see how Torbert doesn't break into your top ten. Very self-possessed, at ease and knowledgeable. Good to see Lauren Lutton ranked where she belongs. I think she has the ability to beat any attorney at any element of the game on any given day. Graham Wyatt is very very underrated. I think he's better than many ranked above him.

        The witnesses you ranked above her are all great but I am going to cast my vote for Mazamir Yousefi as the best witness out there. Phenomenal. Not having her ranked at all as an attorney baffles me a little bit. True double-threat.


        • #5
          I would second the praise for Mazamir Yousefi. Her sympathetic witness is truly phenomenal in a case where it's very difficult to justify calling the spouse, but in my opinion Mazamir has really shined as an attorney. She's got a presence to rival any attorney I've ever seen and a great propensity for remaining calm under pressure. I actually prefer her opening to that of her co-counsel, Rahul Hari.

          You are absolutely right about the ten potential of Jason Todd as Rhodes's Connor. He fits the role more naturally than almost anyone else I've seen. Where I would say he has more trouble is on cross. I watched Downtown's final round and he fought just a little too much for my taste. That may not seem like harsh criticism, but when you build up as much credibility on direct as Todd does, it's a shame to see him throw it away.

          Thanks for putting so much work into these rankings.
          James Caress

          "It may be pretend court, but it's real life experience" ~Jake Perkowski


          • #6
            Given that I was running an opening ceremony as an AMTA rep and have 200 witnesses that I was not on a laptop when this was posted, for the love of God will people stop saying this is me?


            • #7
              Originally posted by bluedress View Post
              Given that I was running an opening ceremony as an AMTA rep and have 200 witnesses that I was not on a laptop when this was posted, for the love of God will people stop saying this is me?
              This could be next year's case: Smith vs Message Board Community.


              • #8
                Originally posted by jamcity View Post
                This could be next year's case: Smith vs Message Board Community.
                Not really. Seems like an open-and-shut case.

                Cue the new "who is PD?" discussion


                • #9
                  Thanks for the rankings and hard work PD. I talk about these and they're fun to read.
                  Elliott A. - Macalester College 2015
                  "Fake it 'til you make it."


                  • #10
                    Thanks PD. Always enjoy reading the rankings. Can't wait for the next update!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bluedress View Post
                      Given that I was running an opening ceremony as an AMTA rep and have 200 witnesses that I was not on a laptop when this was posted, for the love of God will people stop saying this is me?
                      Thank god we had our iPhone!


                      • #12
                        You are putting to much weight on Rhodes' performance at Downtown. They had a good tournament, but they are not the second best team in the nation. You have none of their attorneys even in honorable mention, and you have two of their witnesses in the top 15. Dyer is good (though I bet many would debate that she is the best) but she is only two scores on a ballot.


                        • #13
                          awesome work PD! Keep it up.


                          • #14
                            I can't believe Mazamir Yousefi and Amanda Mundell arent listed as top attorneys. Amanda been dominating this year with a few 20 rank performances, and Mazamir won best defense opener at the Downtown. That means she beat most of the attorneys you listed. Dale Torbert should be ranked higher too. Two years ago you thought he was one of the best attorneys in AMTA. Seems like he is back to his old way after he dominated at Downtown. What happened?


                            • #15
                              Howard A did not make it out of the Washington PA regional while EMU did.