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Peck speaks for Yale at national tournament

Apr 12, 2013 - Staff

A college student from Riverton is participating in a national collegiate debate championship this weekend.

Robert Peck of Riverton, a sophomore at Yale University, competes with the Yale "A" team in the National Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Yale A qualified for the 48-team bracket through a series of tournaments beginning in October. There are about 1,800 mock trial teams among four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Through regional qualifying hosted by Yale and a national round at Miami University in Ohio, Yale A emerged as a finals qualifier. The national finals event is hosted by the University of Virginia Law School and will be contested at two federal courthouses in Washington, D.C.

Mock trial is a debate competition using a courtroom format in which teams examine the same set of facts about a legal case and develop arguments and witness testimony and cross examinations under the rules of a court of law, with a judge present.

It is one of two debate programs at Yale, the other being college parliamentary debate, which is modeled on a legislative format.

After a championship high school career in Riverton in which he was a four-time national qualifier and three-time state champion, Peck was recruited by both Yale programs and last year was the only freshman on the Yale A team. He has competed as both an attorney and witness this year and will work as a witness at the national tournament.

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