Law students rise to the challenge in mock trial competition

Kayleigh Hinkle JD '18, representing the prosecution, questions the defendant's girlfriend at the 2017 Mock Trial Competition.

All rise

Kayleigh Hinkle JD '18, representing the prosecution, questions the defendant's girlfriend at the 2017 Mock Trial Competition.

J

essica Solotruk JD '18 and Kayleigh Hinkle JD '18 represented the State of Lone Star in the final round of the 2017 Mock Trial Competition at Quinnipiac University School of Law's Ceremonial Courtroom.

"This case is about fear, fatality and fabrication," said Solotruk in her opening statement.

Each year, the Mock Trial Honor Society holds an intramural competition consisting of a preliminary round, a semi-final and the final bench. Judge David P. Gold, of the Hartford Superior Court, presided over this year’s final competition along with attorneys and alumni, Ryan O’Neil and Sean McGuinness. 

This year’s mock case – a criminal one – was selected by the director of the intramural competition for its interesting twists and turns. It’s a first-degree murder case, where the defendant is charged with killing and disposing of his girlfriend’s body in the ocean. The defendant claimed his other girlfriend committed the crime after an argument ensued between the two women both dating the same man.

“As prosecutors, we had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed first-degree premeditated murder,” said Hinkle, who partnered with Solotruk. To prove their case, they called upon two witnesses — a homicide detective and the defendant’s brother, who revealed evidence of blood stains, a weapon and a first-hand account of the murder.

Representing the defense, Johnathan Konandreas JD ’18 and Meryl Gersz JD ’19 cross-examined the defendant’s brother. They attacked his credibility by showing he was offered a reduced sentence for drug trafficking in exchange for favorable testimony.

School of Law
MarcAnthony Bonanno JD '19 testifies at the defendant's brother during this years mock case in the Ceremonial Courtroom.

The whole truth

MarcAnthony Bonanno JD '19 testifies at the defendant's brother during this years mock case in the Ceremonial Courtroom.

“The coaching and feedback from Quinnipiac law school alumni, attorneys from the Connecticut Bar Association and students on the mock trial executive board was invaluable,” said Meryl Gersz, who represented the defense team along with Johnathan Konandreas.