March 05, 2012
Defeating squads from four of the Northeast’s leading academic
institutions, St. John’s University has won a bid to the opening
round of the 2012 Championship Series of the national
The University’s Mock Trial Team placed 7th in the Eastern
Regional competition, held at Lafayette College, PA, in February,
with wins against squads from Cornell, Fordham, Swarthmore and
U-Penn. St. John’s finished with a 5-3 record.
This is the 18th time the team has earned a bid in its 20-year
history. In addition, two members won individual awards — Peter
Ozelius ’13C (top-ten attorney) and Andrea Coraci ’13CPS (top-ten
witness). The crew consists of two squads — A and B — comprising
undergraduates from a variety of majors.
students on this year’s squad were all veterans,” said Head Coach
Bernard Helldorfer, Esq. ’77CBA, ’80L, Professor and Director
Legal Studies in the
College of Professional Studies. “Their experience, poise and
talent really showed against very difficult and intense
The University honored the squad at Madison Square Garden during
men’s basketball team’s match against Georgetown on January
St. John’s will join the region’s top eight teams at the Opening
Round Championship Series in Washington, D.C., from March 16 to 18.
The winners will advance to the nationals to be held in
Minneapolis, MN, from April 13 to 15.
Nationwide, 650 colleges and universities entered this year’s
tournament. Of those, 192 teams earned bids to the opening rounds.
Ultimately, only 48 squads from around the country will compete in
Prof. Helldorfer founded the team, which he co-coaches with
Oscar Holt ’73C, ’76Ed, ’79L, Associate Professor of Legal Studies.
Kareem Vessup ’01CPS, ’04L serves as Assistant Coach.
Mock Trial competitions simulate an actual court case. Assuming
the roles of witnesses and attorneys for the plaintiff and the
defense, students receive points based on their performances. This
year, a college-age defendant is accused of causing a young
passenger’s death while driving under the influence of alcohol.