UIMT History

The journey from charter member to national champions and beyond

 

The University of Iowa was one of the founding institutions for the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). It participated in the first ever National Championship Competition in Des Moines in 1985. The University of Iowa Mock Trial Club was founded in 1991, six years after the Hawkeyes began competing in AMTA.

In 1998, the University of Iowa team made its first appearance at the National Championship Tournament in over ten years. Two years later, Iowa qualified two teams to Des Moines for the first time, both receiving honorable mentions by finishing 11th and 13th. In 2001, the University of Iowa again qualified two teams to the National Championship Tournament with one team finishing 4th in the nation. A year later the University of Iowa was crowned the National Champion of Intercollegiate Mock Trial. This achievement was honored by the Iowa Senate in Resolution 157.

In the 2002-2003 season the University of Iowa rode on the backs of its returning champions and a large incoming class to have the most successful season in the history of the organization. The University of Iowa became the second school in AMTA history to win back to back national championship titles, after finishing the National Championship Tournament undefeated.

The University of Iowa created another page in AMTA history in the spring of 2006 by becoming the first school to earn six consecutive top five finishes at the AMTA National Championship Tournament. From 2001 - 2006 the University of Iowa finished 4th, 1st, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 4th, respectively.

However, the 2005-2006 season will hold a special place in the hearts of all University of Iowa Mock Trial participants for another reason. On March 18, 2006, while driving back from Spring Break, beloved teammates and former team captains Brooke Walton (sophomore) and David Hartwig (sophomore) were involved in a very serious car accident when their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Tragically, Brooke passed away and David sustained multiple, serious injuries. This accident shocked and saddened not only the mock trial team, but the whole of the University of Iowa community. The University of Iowa Mock Trial Club would like to thank all of the AMTA schools and AMTA representatives for their kind words and support. To honor Brooke's dedication to this program, her talent, her kindness, and most importantly, her life, Brooke was inducted into the UIMT Hall of Fame at the end of the 2005-2006 season.

Since the 2000 season, the University of Iowa Mock Trial Club has earned 7 All-American attorney awards and 6 All-American witness awards. During that same stretch of time the University of Iowa Mock Trial Club has annually qualified the maximum number of teams allowed by AMTA to compete in post-regional tournament competition.

The University of Iowa Mock Trial Club has hosted the Iowa Cornshucker Challenge, one of the most selective and competitive invitational tournaments in the nation, since 2001. The Spirit of AMTA award at the Cornshucker, an award given out to the team that embodies civility and respect, is named the Brooke Walton Award in her honor.

The University of Iowa team was also awarded the first ever National Championship Tournament Spirit of AMTA Award in 2000 for embodying civility and respect in the courtroom.