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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Debate team soars to regional competition

At its second competition this season, the UH Mock Trial Team beat more than 16 teams from across Texas, including three other teams from the Houston area, at the UT-Dallas Invitational.

The Mock Trial Team displayed its winning plaques won Oct. 21 at the UT-Dallas Invitational while showing off their UH pride. | Courtesy of Joe L. Mendoza

The team finished in sixth place at the Oct. 21 event with one lawyer a point shy of an Outstanding Attorney Award, and two witnesses each one point shy of an Outstanding Witness Award.

Juan Villagomez, received eight out of eight points to win the team’s first Outstanding Witness Award of the season.

“The entire team is ecstatic about our performance,” College of Technology junior and team captain Joe Mendoza said. “We spent several weeks preparing ahead of time and we were determined to place at this competition, especially since it represents a pre-cursor to the regional competition; and these two awards make that hard work worth it.”

The team celebrated Villagomez’s award, and he said he credits his achievement to the teams overall effort.

“It feels great to have won the award,” Villagomez said. “I wouldn’t have been able to win without the overall strong performance of the entire group.”

A witness’s job in the competition is to produce strong testimony, while maintaining credibility.

“The objective of a witness is to give testimony based on their affidavit,” Villagomez said. “It sounds easy enough, but the affidavits are written in a way that mixes the testimony with questionable facts and bad character evidence.”

The team will compete at regionals sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association in February.

“Based on our last two competitions, and having won three awards so far this season, the team is very dedicated and determined to bringing back a trophy from regionals,” Mendoza said.

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