The Radford Mock Trial team makes waves at regionals

The Radford University Mock Trial Team

Just two years after participating in their first competition in February 2022, the Radford University Mock Trial team has made waves at regionals.

In February 2024, Radford faced off against teams from various colleges in the region at the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Regional Tournament in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With a convincing win over Wake Forest in the final round and two Outstanding Witness awards, the Radford team has proven that hard work pays off.

Mock Trial is a competitive intercollegiate activity in which students simulate a trial in court. Each year, colleges from across the country receive case material from the AMTA, alternating between civil and criminal cases. Each school then prepares its own witnesses and attorneys and presents their case in front of judges. Not only does Mock Trial allow students to expand their knowledge of legal practices and procedures, it also provides them with the opportunity to develop critical thinking and public speaking skills.

Radford’s team prepares for tournaments in the Christopher S. Huther Courtroom, a unique academic space in Hemphill Hall that houses real-world equipment such as a judge’s bench, a witness stand, prosecution and defense tables and a jury box. It also includes technology such as display monitors for presenting evidence and cameras for recording activities for evaluation.

“The Huther Courtroom is an enormous advantage for Radford. I don’t know of another undergraduate school with its own courtroom,” said Mock Trial coach, Donald Martin. “When high school mockers tour Radford, showing off our courtroom is a compelling draw. Additionally, when it comes to preparing for tournaments – or life as a lawyer – there is no beating the gravitas and formality that comes with having an actual courtroom. No classroom setting can replicate that atmosphere.”

Mock Trial provides a demonstration during the courtroom dedication for Huther in 2023.

The courtroom was named in honor of alumnus Chris Huther ’88 in February 2023. Huther, partner at Wiley Rein law firm in Washington, D.C., is an attorney who represents the nation’s leading communications companies, industry associations and equipment manufacturers in complex litigation. As an undergraduate student at Radford, Huther was given the opportunity to study under former Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg. His transformative student experience inspired him to give back to the university.

“Mr. Huther’s support for this program can’t be overstated. Thanks to him, we have the budget necessary to travel to tournaments in places like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Williamsburg and Charlotte. At those tournaments, we are able to compete against the best teams in the nation,” said Martin. “I know firsthand how difficult it is for schools to find the money to fund their Mock Trial teams. Not only does [this support] benefit the students when they are competing in college, but the lessons they learn preparing for and participating in these Mock Trial competitions will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.”

Martin joined Radford’s faculty in 2021 as an instructor of criminal justice. Prior to this, Martin served as General Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and as Assistant General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond and American University where he coached Mock Trial.

“When I moved back home to southwest Virginia, it was a dream come true to coach Mock Trial here. It was a true homecoming for me,” said Martin. “Our team just finished its second year of existence, but it’s already showing signs of success, and even better things to come. We have beaten some very good schools this year. It’s a testament to the caliber of students we have here at Radford.”

To learn more about supporting the Mock Trial team or other experiential learning opportunities within the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, please contact Carter Turner at or 540-831-2118.