Head Coach: Ben Garmoe ’13
Ben Garmoe is the head coach of UMBC Mock Trial. Ben graduated from UMBC in 2013 and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2016. He currently works at Maryland Carey Law, where he serves as the Salsbury Director of Trial Advocacy and directs Maryland Law’s nationally-ranked National Trial Team. While at UMBC, Ben was a captain on UMBC’s inaugural Mock Trial team in 2011-12 and helped the team return from several years of inactivity. He served as President of UMBC Mock Trial during the 2012-13 season, and began coaching the following season in 2014 during his 1L year at Maryland Law.
Ben has competed in Mock Trial at the high school, college, and law school level, and served as captain of the Maryland Law National Trial Team for the 2015-16 season. Ben’s mock trial career ended at the 2016 South Texas Mock Trial Challenge, where Ben was named Best Advocate and his team advanced to the semifinal round. Ben won a National Championship at the 2015 St. Mary’s Lone Star Classic where he was also awarded Best Closing Argument. After graduating from law school, Ben worked for a year as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Edward Hargadon of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Ben then transitioned to full-time litigation practice and worked at a civil litigation firm for 3.5 years. He has tried over 250 cases in his career and has extensive experience with all areas of trial practice.
Ben also is a member of the Board of Directors for Maryland Youth and the Law (MYLAW), the governing body for high school mock trial in Maryland. He is the chair of the Mock Trial Committee and has authored the three most recent cases used across Maryland for high school competition: State of Maryland v. Izzy Gardner (2020), Estate of Aaron Griggs v. Jodie Donahue (2021), and State of Maryland v. Ryan Grimes (2022).
Along with assistant coaches Dylan Elliott, Summer Akhtar, and Whitney Wilder, Ben is the recipient of the Chief Judge W. Ward Reynoldson Award, given each year by AMTA to the coaches of the teams who compete in the National Final Round. In 2022, Ben was recognized by the UMBC Alumni Association as the Distinguished Service Alumnus for his work with UMBC Mock Trial.
Summer Akhtar ’18
Summer Akhtar is a 2018 graduate of UMBC and a 2021 graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Summer competed with UMBC for three years, including on UMBC’s first-ever Nationals team in 2017. She won several awards during her time with UMBC, including an All-Region Attorney award as a senior in 2018, and she served as Vice-President during her senior year.
After graduating, Summer attended the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law where she served as captain of the National Trial Team for the 2020-21 season. Summer competed for Maryland at the 2020 All Star Bracket Challenge where her team went 4-0 in the preliminary rounds, winning the East Region and advancing to Nationals. Summer was named as an Outstanding Advocate for the East Region. She worked as a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Matthew Fader in the Maryland Court of Appeals after graduation, and she is currently on coaching sabbatical as she works as a Defender Services Fellow at the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Pittsburgh, PA.
Thomas Azari ’22
Thomas Azari is a 2022 graduate of UMBC. Thomas competed for UMBC Mock Trial for four years, and was the opening attorney for the 2021 National Championship team. Thomas is a two-time All-American Attorney, earning his All-American awards in 2021 both in the preliminary rounds and for his appearance in the National Final Round, and he served as President of UMBC Mock Trial as a senior. Thomas won numerous awards at elite tournaments throughout his time at UMBC, and Thomas was a competitor on UMBC A for three consecutive bids to Nationals in 2020, 2021, and 2022. After graduation, Thomas competed at Trial by Comat, an elite invite-only tournament, in the summer of 2022.
Dylan Elliott ’17
Dylan Rogers Elliott is a 2017 graduate of UMBC. He competed for UMBC Mock Trial as an attorney and witness for four seasons. He served as the program’s Treasurer (2014-2015), Secretary (2015-2016), and President (2016-2017). Dylan was a member and captain of UMBC’s first team to earn an ORCS bid (2015) and UMBC’s first team to earn an NCT bid (2017), and he earned several individual awards during his time as an AMTA competitor. Dylan was a co-recipient of the 2016-17 UMBC Division of Student Affairs Leadership Award for his leadership contributions to mock trial and the UMBC community as a whole.
Dylan graduated from Maryland Carey Law in 2020 after two years of competing for the National Trial Team, including serving as captain of the Trial Team for the 2019-20 season. After graduating from Maryland Law, Dylan worked as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Dan Friedman on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, and then as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Deborah K. Chasanow of the United States District Court. He now works as an associate at Salsbury Sullivan, a boutique litigation firm in Baltimore, MD.
Thomas Kiley ’21
Thomas Kiley is a 2021 graduate of UMBC and currently attends the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where he expects to graduate in 2024. Thomas competed with UMBC as a witness for four years, advancing to Nationals three times and competing on the 2021 National Championship winning team. He was also co-captain of that 2021 NCT team. He served as the program’s Treasurer from 2019 until 2021. He won several awards as a witness at UMBC, including two awards from the Great American Mock Trial Invitational (GAMTI).
Now at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Thomas competes on the National Trial Team. He competed at the Hofstra Medical-Legal Tournament where he earned an Outstanding Advocate Award and his team won the tournament.
Natalie Murray ’22
Natalie Murray is a 2022 graduate of UMBC. During her four years with UMBC Mock Trial, Natalie was one of the most successful and decorated character witnesses in the country. Natalie competed as a witness for four years on UMBC A and advanced to Nationals all four years. Natalie is a three-time All-American Witness, and earned two All-American Witness awards in 2021 when UMBC won the National Championship. Natalie served as Recruitment Chair for UMBC Mock Trial as a junior and was a captain of the 2021 Championship team and several unstacked teams. Natalie is currently the head coach of UMBC B.
Whitney Wilder graduated from the College of Charleston in 2009 and the Charleston School of Law in 2014. After nine years in Charleston, South Carolina, Whitney returned to Baltimore where she grew up. Whitney took the July 2014 Maryland Bar Exam and was sworn in before the Maryland Court of Appeals in December of 2014. Whitney began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Justin J. King in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Currently, Whitney works as a litigation attorney in Towson, Maryland. Whitney competed in mock trial during high school, college, and law school. After graduating from law school, Whitney has continued to participate in mock trial as a judge for competitions at all levels. Whitney joined UMBC Mock Trial as an assistant coach in 2018.
Lauren Wotring ’22
Lauren Wotring is a 2022 graduate of UMBC Mock Trial. Lauren competed for UMBC Mock Trial for four years, and was the middle attorney on the 2021 National Championship team. Lauren won the prestigious Triple Crown while at UMBC, earning an All-National Attorney award in 2020 as captain of UMBC B, an All-American Attorney award in 2021 for her appearance in the National Final Round, and an All-Region Attorney award in 2022. Lauren won attorney awards at numerous prestigious tournaments throughout her time at UMBC, and served as Vice-President of UMBC Mock Trial during her senior season. Lauren also served as Recruitment Chair and was instrumental in the planning and running of the 2020 UMBC Underdog Invitational. After graduation, Lauren competed at Trial by Combat, an elite invitation-only tournament, where she served as Thomas Azari’s second chair.