Written by: Lindsey Burgess
The Fresno State Mock Trial team placed fifth among 42 nationally ranked teams at the Mid-South Invitational tournament at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro. Fresno State was the only West Coast school invited to compete.
Fresno State also took home coveted individual awards: Grant Mason, a senior philosophy and political science double major; as lead plaintiff counsel; Shanna Hesketh, a senior criminology/law enforcement major, as lead defense counsel; and Jess Smith, a senior political science major, for his witness performance.
Attorney coach and faculty adviser Gordon M. Park of the Fresno-based law firm McCormick Barstow accompanied the eight students Nov. 9-12 to Tennessee. The other team members are senior economics major Alexandra Larralde, senior criminology major Ashley Eggleston, junior biology major Simone Leighty, sophomore pre-psychology major, Emily Brisky and senior criminology major Hailey Bonds.
The Fresno State Mock Trial team was founded in 2005, by criminology professor and lawyer Harvey Wallace, who died in 2007, and Park. The team quickly made a name for itself in Northern California and continues to be competitive at the national level.