Stories The Honorable Teresa Warner '81

Published on January 9th, 2014 | by SMUMN

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St. Paul judge presides over students’ mock trial

The third annual Saint Mary’s Mock Trial was hosted on Nov. 21 in the Common Room and was judged a smashing success. This year’s case involved an allegation of date rape against a college student and provided the audience with all the courtroom drama that one would expect for that type of case.

CAPTION: The Honorable Teresa Warner, a Minnesota judge and 1981 Saint Mary’s alum, presided at the Mock Trial.

The “attorneys,” who were all SMU students in law-related programs, did an excellent job presenting their cases. Kevin Gannon, Alec Rolain and Denard Covington represented the prosecution, and Matthew Smaron, Miles Dunna and Aide Hernandez represented the defendant in the hotly contested case.

A student being questioned.

Being questioned.

The “witnesses” were SMU students from the theatre department who played their roles with such conviction that one truly believed they were the characters in the case. Katie Sapper, Andrew Hanselka, Alex Akers, Gabriel Verges, Julie Frederickson and Allie Kriz made each of their characters come alive.

It was a close case, and after the two juries deliberated (composed entirely of SMU students who were spectators) one jury voted to convict and the other to acquit. A reception capped off what was a memorable event for all who attended.

The Honorable Teresa Warner was the judge for the Mock Trial. Judge Warner is the Chief Judge of the Second Judicial District (St. Paul area) and a 1981 graduate of Saint Mary’s. In addition to judging the case, Judge Warner took extra time after the case to speak with the student attorneys and other interested students about her take on the case and the legal system generally. She also spoke to business law classes the next day about her experiences as a judge in Minnesota.

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