The Birth of the Legacy
The James Lewis Family Miami Mock Trial program was founded at Miami University in 1993 by a group of undergraduate students who were interested in pursuing a career as trial attorneys. Those students approached Miami professor Dan Herron and asked if he would sponsor the program but largely coach from the sidelines. Dr. Herron agreed.
But MMT's success for its first few years was limited and Dr. Herron insisted he take a more active role in the organization. In 1994, Dan Haughey would join the program and lead MMT, under Dr. Herron's more hands on approach, to its first National Championship Tournament (NCT) appearance. At the NCT, Dan Haughey, who would later go on to coach Miami's A Team for thirteen seasons, became MMT's first All-American. The following year, Dan Haughey would win his second All-American.
Having finally found success, MMT would rededicate itself to winning. Dr. Herron refocused the program on character witnesses. Miami attorney's took time to learn the rules of evidence better than they ever had before. And MMT sought to compete in more competitive and prestigious invitational tournaments.
In 2001, the hard work would pay off when Miami University claimed the National Championship. To this day, Miami is one of only a handful of programs to have won a championship title. The following fall, Brad Keffer would join the organization and go on to become MMT's most decorated competitor. Mr. Keffer won a total of 5 All-Americans between 2002 and 2004.
Brad Keffer left the program in 2004 to good hands. That same year, Kate Bowling would win her first All-American as an expert witness. The next year, in 2005, Ms. Bowling would win an All-American as an attorney and become the first competitor in MMT history to win an All-American as both a witness and as an attorney.
The next MMT All-American witness would come with Nick Borger's rendition of "Cooper" in 2007. To this day, that witness portrayal is considered one of the best of all time.
In 2010, MMT would miss the National Championship Round by less than a single point. That team included All-American attorneys Tommy Jeffcott and Gus Lazeres and also 2-time All-American witness Pavel Gurevich. Alex Bluebond, another key competitor on that team, would go on to coach Duke Mock Trial to a National Championship in 2012.
In the fall season of 2010, Miami Mock Trial would gain a legend- though they didn't know it yet. Only a freshman, Alex Block quickly made waves in the AMTA community. Taken under the wing of Gus Lazares, Alex would go on to compete at the National Championship all of his four years, earning two All-American Attorney awards and grossing twenty-seven other personal awards in his career.
Today, MMT is a proud and storied organization. For the past ten years, MMT has been ranked in the top 10 of all collegiate mock trial programs. Alumni involvement is at an all-time high and the National Championship Tournaments are not only a chance for current MMT competitors to make history, but also for alumni to cheer on the program and share their stories.