Episode 72: AMTA President Johnathan Woodward

Episode 72 September 16, 2022 00:52:58
Episode 72: AMTA President Johnathan Woodward
The Mock Review with Ben and Drew
Episode 72: AMTA President Johnathan Woodward
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Show Notes

Ben and Drew are joined by AMTA President Johnathan Woodward. Johnathan returns to the show to discuss why he decided to run for President, where he sees AMTA heading right now, his efforts to improve the diversity of the AMTA board and the organization as a whole, and his thoughts on the 2022 AMTA Board of Directors meeting.

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Episode Transcript

00:00.00 bengarmoe Hello and welcome to the mock review with Ben and Drew I'm Ben Garmoe 00:04.39 Drew And I'm Drew Evans well Drew as we mentioned in our last episode. The amta season is officially underway we had a great time chatting about all things amta and this year's case with Anna Eldridge on our last episode. 00:18.67 bengarmoe And we are continuing the trend of having really fantastic guests who have a rich and interesting history and amta with this week's episode where we have the privilege of chatting with amta president Jonathan Woodward now if you're a listener of the podcast. You know that Jonathan is a friend of the show. If you want to hear? Jonathan's origin story and and more information about his time as amta tabulation director. You can go all the way back to episode 29 where you can hear his conversation with us back in April of 20 if you're curious about what an interview with another ampta president might sound like you can go. All the way back almost to the beginning of this show to episode 3 when we had a conversation with then Amtor president will warra hey but we're so fortunate to have amtor president Jonathan Woodward on the show. Jonathan thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us. 01:09.90 Johnathan Woodward I'm still waiting for you to introduce the fun and interesting guest is is that me oh man. Sorry sorry for your listeners. 01:12.55 bengarmoe that that is in fact you just that he well we'll do our best I think I think our listeners would find you to be a fun and interesting guest and I guess they'll be the judge of that one way or the other but we're really glad to have you on the show. So. We'll start with sort of what I think is the obvious question and and I'm going to frame it this way and and I was really thinking a lot as as I was preparing for this episode about how to frame this question being Amtor president is a tough job. The pay is not great and you have a lot of really important responsibilities the last 2 amta presidents have had to deal with. Various iterations of the pandemic and challenges with our organization at large and it's just a really difficult and I imagine it's sometimes thankless job. So I'll ask sort of these simple question that leads to that. Why did you decide to run for president. Why did you decide you wanted to lead an organization like amta. 02:09.59 Johnathan Woodward Are you telling me I get paid for this? Ah oh okay, did you guys see the. 02:11.61 Drew I was about to say. Ah. 02:11.81 bengarmoe I The the joke was that you don't get paid I Yeah I you know humor is not really the strength of this show. 02:21.75 Johnathan Woodward There was an internet comment once upon a time about like the 6 figure salary that the amta president makes and like so they have the right amta. Um, no I mean you know I've been on the board of directors since 2007 and have been privileged to you know, hold a various. 02:26.85 bengarmoe Ah, yeah, right. 02:41.37 Johnathan Woodward A roster of leadership positions within the organization and after almost a decade as Tab Director I Just sort of felt that ah you know the time was right to sort of step into what was almost like the last job in amta that I had yet to do um. And candidly you know just after after that length appeared of time on the board. At least you know I see myself kind of kind of winding down with my experience in Amda but I wanted to the opportunity to to lead the organization for. Ah, for a term as president and and see if I can leave the organization and in better shape than I found it and I think that's what ah basically all the other presidents have ah have tried to do and done quite successfully. So. 03:32.35 bengarmoe Well, that kind of leads naturally into my next question you know I was fortunate enough to be able to be at the board meeting this summer and and Drew I know was listening in on Zoom and so we both got to hear your opening remarks typically at each board meeting the president will offer you know see maybe 5 to 10 minutes of just kind of. You know, hey these are my priorities for this year these are the things that I'm focused on so I was just kind of curious if you could share for your listeners. What your priorities as president are and what you see as the major areas of focus as you you know now just I guess a couple of months ago started your first year as president. 04:10.68 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, so you know I've got a few different sort of projects that I would like to see make some progress within the next two years basically during my my term as president. Ah 1 is I'm tasking sort of a small group ah to basically go out. And really try and improve the number of hbcu historically black colleges and universities that participate in amta. Um, you know we've we've had some more in the past that have sort of stopped participating Spelman Morehouse some others Florida a and m. Um, and I know this was something that that Brandon Harper was passionate about and and was hoping to ah work more on during his presidency and I think his his term very rightly so ah, sort of quickly got diverted into handling you know pandemic related issues and. And transitioning to online mock trials. so um so I've sort of tasked Brandon and Angela minor with with actually going out and sort of physically meeting in person with representatives from different Hbc use that do not currently participate in amta to see what we can do to. Ah, to improve that participation. Ah sort of as a corollary I know this was something that that Ian Lambert who know has been on this this program before and is is well known to many in the mock trial community. Ah. 05:41.79 Johnathan Woodward He sort of brought to me an idea of of amta potentially hosting ah basically standalone invitational tournaments in the fall that were targeted towards specific types of of institutions that might not be very well represented in amta. His idea was community colleges. But I think you can. Extrapolated out to all sorts of different types of colleges and universities. So I've set up a ah committee to look at you know, different sort of target populations that we might be able to to provide sort of an invitational like experience in the fall for schools that might not have that. Ah, that same access to invitationals that that schools that have been around the circuit for a long time might have um I have set up an alumni engagement ah committee that's sort of working basically hand in hand with our communications committee. It's. Committee is one and the same because I think our alumni engagement in many ways is our communications. Ah but rio lakaraju is is leading that group up group up. Um and I hope they can come up with some cool ideas just to to try and improve ah the work we. We do with alumni engagement. Um, and then finally I'm going to try and just get our development committee to ah to do a little bit more this year obviously we're still really reeling from the loss of of Tom Shearer both on ah a personal level and also just on the talents that that he brought to the amta board and development was really. 07:18.60 Johnathan Woodward A space where he excelled and if we can try and ah come up with some campaigns I'm hoping to do sort of an online giving campaign geared towards older alumni and other friends of amta who might have the means to donate later on this fall. Um, you know anything we can do to to prevent having to raise registration fees in the future I think everyone would appreciate so so those are some of the things that ah that I'm hoping that we can make some progress on in the next couple years 07:49.69 bengarmoe And you and you touched on several things in there that I think will you know we'll probably have some more questions for as as we go on. But I think each of those are really interesting and we want to get to specifics in just a moment but but sort of 1 other question on the topic of being m to president more broadly. You know you mentioned that. Brandon's term obviously sort of got occupied by the pandemic and and will's term had had you know the challenge of the national final round and and the beginning of the pandemic and and there's a lot of big things that have gone on so just in terms of amta as a whole where do you see the organization right now and we'll talk covid specifically in a minute but where do you see the organization right now in terms of where we're headed. Do you feel like we're sort of in more of a transition period where we're rebuilding from the last few years or do you think that you know your ah your next couple years as president is you have a lot of opportunities to maybe address. Some challenges that have been around for a while you know I know that's kind of a broad question but I'm just curious kind of where you see amp to heading as an organization right now. 08:57.78 Johnathan Woodward Yeah I mean I think we're headed in the right direction I think obviously the hope is that um you know we don't have any more pandemic or other public health related. Setbacks that are going to sort of occupy. Everyone's time and attention this year where we can maybe focus on some of these other types of projects to really improve upon amta and keep the organization moving forward as opposed to just sort of constantly sort of responding to the latest. Crisis and putting out fires and just making sure that that mock trial physically happens. Ah so my hope is that everyone on the board myself included is just going to have a little bit more bandwidth ah to tackle some of these other. Ah you know ideas and projects. Ah, that we really just didn't have the time to do over the past couple of years 09:52.55 Drew You know and Jonathan it's it's cool to me always getting to hear all the different things that that you're hoping to do um I think that I'm I'm always kind of interested in this like. Okay, we're we're moving forward into this new kind of presidency and and what that means like do you think that there's anything we can expect as maybe not as monumental changes. But what? what is the thing that you kind of would love for us to. Attached to the Woodward presidency. 10:24.99 Johnathan Woodward You know I've thought about this quite a bit and honestly I don't know that if you are a competitor or even a recent alumni I don't know that. There's a lot of stuff that I'm looking to necessarily you know change or or make these sort of big bold moves that necessarily affect that aspect of the process I think certainly as as Tab director I've I've been involved in. In that side of the organization for a period of time and I think the longer you're involved with the organization. You know I'm really thinking more long term about ah sort of the internal workings of amta making sure that we have a strong group of leaders. To keep amta moving forward that as folks like myself and other folks who are my age on the board. Ah start to to maybe move on to different things that there's that there's a core group of people that are. Ah, more talented than we are that are going to ah sort of take the Baton and keep this organization moving forward. Um, so note a lot of times when we talk about the Ampta Board. We're talking in the context of of. 11:52.50 Johnathan Woodward You know, like the invention rules or really sort of competitive aspects the case and things like that. Um, and I'm really thinking more broadly about the internal workings of the organization making sure that we're in a strong development position moving forward. Um. And that we're fostering that next group of leaders. 12:13.52 Drew Well I can say as as a younger and more recent graduate that is certainly always good to hear and and I am excited to see what what that is going to bring us. Um I think it's natural obviously as Ben alluded to at the very beginning the case just got released and of course. You have a very important role in that case. Um I remember you know I wasn't at nationals but listening to Livestream and and getting to hear um some familiar voices. Ah as part of the teaser. So um, you know we'll get to the the case at large as a second but what was. Can you just take us what what was it like getting to ah to be an air traffic controller what was the you know how'd you get into that mindset and and and be the the air traffic controller that we all come to hear already many many times I'm sure. 13:05.39 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, so I'm actually sort of a huge commercial aviation nerd. Um, it's just sort of ah sort of my principal nerd dom outside of of mock Trials. So when I found out that the case committee was proposing to do an aviation related case i. Um I loved it. I mean it's I I just think it's going to be a lot of fun. Um, and when they came up with the idea of you know of of doing a teaser and they had sort of ah some source material that that they want us wanted us to emulate I'm like yeah I'm I'm all in on this this is this is right in my lane. So. Um, you know when I I went to law school in Southern California and for those of you who live there have been there. There's ah, an in and out burger basically right at the end of run of the one. Ah, one of the runways at lax and you can go sit there and these huge planes from all over the world are landing basically right over your head and that was my happy place out there just to go out and and sit and watch planes land so to have an aviation related cases is pretty awesome and and I was very happy to to get to have a small. Role in it. 14:14.67 Drew Can I I mean obviously you weren't one of the writers of this case but you have a great deal of experience with reading cases with working on Committees Um, can you can you give us any sense of what what do you think of the case more as like. 14:16.71 Johnathan Woodward Um, correct. 14:32.42 Drew That perspective of um of just your your role there are You are there things about this case, you're excited about. Is there a favorite part of this case outside of obviously your exhibit Um, but is there anything about this case that sticks out to you that you think is is memorable. 15:32.97 Johnathan Woodward Um, ok ok sure all right? So I don't coach a team. 15:40.16 Drew Um, yeah. 15:49.99 Johnathan Woodward So my experience with the case is very different than those who do coach a team just because I'm really not absorbing it in the same way or have to use it for the same purposes. So I hope to have more time, especially after they release sort of that traditional first set of. Corrections and whatnot to so to spend some more time with it I've given it what I would call sort of a solid skim. Um, just to get a sense of you know the types of different witnesses. There are and especially I wanted to take a look at all the different. Ah you know, documents and exhibits and maps and things like that because ah, you know those are. Pretty important in a case like this. So ah, but beyond that because I haven't worked with it much and I've been pretty busy with real trial. Um I guess I'll leave it to the to the community to um, figure out what they like best about it and hopefully what little I've heard. Ah, it's been a positive reaction so far which is good. 16:48.82 bengarmoe Yeah I can tell you Drew and I have read it. We both really like it as we're recording this our our conversation with Anna Eldridge isn't out yet but we chatted with her about the case and we of course chatted with her about audio exhibits because she was on some of the case committees that wrote. Ah, cases with audio exhibits like Dawson and we were looking back on some of the special instructions about jam boxes and things like that. So. It's it's kind of neat to have ah an audio exhibit in 2022 where we don't have to buy d batteries for ah you know for a Cd you know for a. 17:07.10 Johnathan Woodward Right. Um, yeah. 17:19.36 Johnathan Woodward Great. 17:24.27 bengarmoe Boombox that is inevitably going to skip at the crucial moment. Um. 17:28.54 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, and you know I think you know back at that time I think there was maybe more concern about the in round communication and I think now that um, we're more used to. To that rule and I think there's more self popoliing around that I don't Expect. It's going to be an issue. 17:44.81 bengarmoe No, certainly I and I totally agree with you I mean we all just went through a year and a half of Zoom mock trial like at this round at this point you know the in-round communication stuff I think is kind of second nature and for the most part everybody gets it. So let me jump back to something that you mentioned. 17:55.28 Johnathan Woodward Um, yeah. 19:12.10 bengarmoe So Jonathan I actually want to go back a little bit to something that you mentioned earlier when you were talking about sort of your overall. Approach to president and some of the major areas of focus that you have so you discussed this um work that you're doing with Brandon Harper and Angela minor to recruit and support hbc use. So I wanted to talk a little bit about the board of directors and amta as a whole so the board of directors has. Right now based on what I could tell on the website in the vicinity of 39 or 40 people who are either members or candidates of that group I would say the majority of them are men and the majority are white men. Ah and I think that that's shifting to some degree seems so movement on that. And I also think that there are some younger candidates and some younger leaders. You obviously mentioned the work that Ria is doing as an example of that. So as a broad question where do you see amta moving in terms of the composition and diversity on the board of directors both in terms of. Diversity and in terms of age and where do you see sort of just the leadership as a whole of the organization headed over the next couple of years. 21:49.30 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, and that was something that I really talked about um when I was running for president is something that I you know that I'm hopeful that will be in better shape by the time I'm done is I'd really like to see. 22:03.64 Johnathan Woodward Student advisory board in some way become a little bit more of sort of a training ground a proving ground for for people who might be interested in continuing to work with amta after graduation and potentially becoming. You know, candidates and and directors on the board or otherwise having ah sort of more extensive leadership roles ah or working with the organization. Ah, because I think we've done a really good job with Sa and making sure that that group really represents a broad. 22:28.48 bengarmoe Jonathan am I correct that the amta bylaws restrict the board of directors size to 40 people is that right? okay. 22:39.70 Drew Are. 22:40.84 Johnathan Woodward Ah, cross section of our student membership. Ah, both in terms of sort of traditional types of of diversity but also Geographic diversity and different types of colleges and universities different levels of competitive success things along those lines. 22:44.85 bengarmoe I'm not certain I thought at some point I had read that but I'm not certain but either way it sort of informs. My follow-up question which I do believe there is listed somewhere like a maximum number of people on the board. So do you think that there needs to be and I don't mean this targeted towards any specific person or group of people. 22:59.97 Johnathan Woodward And to the extent that we can create more of ah like a formal pathway where folks who get involved with SAB can then ah you know have more specific targeted opportunities to stay involved after they graduate. 23:02.25 bengarmoe But do you think there needs to be a mechanism whether it's term limits or sort of at you know a George Washington type understanding to sort of encourage movement. So that okay, you've done your ten or fifteen years on the board and you've been a really generous servant to this organization and now we'd like to give other people an opportunity and make the space for other people. 23:17.80 Johnathan Woodward And then you know once you're a few years after graduation potentially become a candidate. Um I think that will hopefully help us you know create this sort of steady stream of folks who are interested in taking on leadership with amta and make sure that we continually have. 23:22.23 bengarmoe Ah, to have an opportunity to do that. You know do you think there needs to be a formal process or an informal process to encourage that or move that along at all. 23:35.67 Johnathan Woodward Sort of those fresh voices and fresh perspectives to make sure that our organization stays relevant. 23:49.10 Johnathan Woodward You might be right about that but without looking I couldn't say for sure but you might be right about that. 24:05.23 bengarmoe So this is a. 24:44.56 Johnathan Woodward I Don't think so I mean just my sense in you know, just my own experience on being on the board for this length of time is I think for the most part that happens pretty organically certainly just speaking from my own experience. Um, you know? ah I'm I'm. 24:54.89 Drew So you know Jonathan in this you know both Ben's question and and your answer what I was kind of thinking about and hearing it is what I feel like is kind of the the combination of those things and I guess we're kind of now using the podcasts for Ben and I just get in the year of the president. But um. 25:01.87 Johnathan Woodward Excited to be leading this organization for the next couple of years. Ah, but after you do it for this length of time I think there is sort of a burnout factor and I don't think that there's a significant number of people that that want to be on the board for fifteen or twenty years at a time I mean um. 25:12.52 Drew I Wonder if there's a way to basically take members that have been on the board for you know a certain number of years and say hey you're not a quote unquote member of the board anymore Now you are a member of the like you know I don't know like some other name that we would give it the. 25:21.77 Johnathan Woodward I think it it is important that we have sort of the institutional memory and institutional knowledge. So um I think that would be an argument that sort of militates against ah a term limit ah type of situation. Ah, but certainly just in my own experience when there's these sort of more. 25:32.90 Drew The you know old guard if you will um board that can still be there to kind of consult and help advise. Um the quote unquote newer board but to basically be there as as you pointed out to be a resource to kind of keep a lot of the institutional memory. A lot of the know-how. 25:41.22 Johnathan Woodward Ah, broad shifts in in membership. Um, ah composition of the board I Really do think it just sort of happens organically that you can just sort of say Okay, um, you know this is a new crew. This is a new group. 25:51.61 Drew Is still there but it it is kind of creating that room and that space for newer voices I think that it's you know as you've said it is just something where you know there are tons of people who are graduating who want to stay involved who want to keep going with this. 25:59.20 Johnathan Woodward It's time to let them do their thing and and I think that's that's happened very naturally in the time that I've been on the board. 26:11.40 Drew And we've seen a lot of them. Um, that are showing up to board meetings that are trying to get involved in Committees. Um, you know we're about to talk about it. But when you look at the rookie rumble case that was you know in but large part written by a bunch of recent graduates. Um, that are all not technically board members. But. Are clearly people that want to be involved in the community and I feel like it's cool to to give that room to give that space while retaining all of that Knowledge. So you know I guess my question is what do you think is that something that you would ever see as viable. 27:54.64 Johnathan Woodward Well and just to touch on Rookie Rumble I mean that was very intentional on my part I I View Rookie rumble as not just an opportunity for competitive rookies to get experience. But I viewed it as an opportunity for those individuals who are looking to develop. Ah, sort of a resume get some experience with amta to be able to basically run a tournament and or write a case. Ah so that if they decide to apply to candidacy. They can point to that and we have some some history with them where we can say Oh yeah, they did a really great job with with this or that. So. Ah, so that was very intentional on my part that the rookie rumble was an experience for those newer folks to to get some experience in terms of actually some hands on work with amta in terms of your specific question of whether there would ever be sort of a you know like a. 28:29.26 Drew And that's you know, understandable and fair. Um, you know it's Funny. We kind of started talking about Rookie Rumble a little bit and that kind of brings me to to another point and I you know I think most people can agree that Rookie rumble was a huge success. Um. I I know that I've heard nothing but good things about it I Really thought it was a fun Case. A fun tournament. Um, do you think that a a version of it will continue to exist do you or do you see this as more of a response to Covid and and kind of the the. 28:46.13 Johnathan Woodward Ah, shadow Amtaboard I don't see that as something that ah that the board would necessarily be interested In. Um I Think the fact that we have a larger board Sometimes it can be a challenge but I think in many ways. It's a feature because it ensures that. Ah, that we have a wide variety of experiences different types of institutions different levels of competitive success. Um, and I like having that balance and I think obviously I can't speak for the board. But I think most folks on the board. Ah like. 29:04.44 Drew Emergence of virtual mock trial for a lot of those younger members. Um, and and maybe just a 1 ne-time thing or do you want to continue having some sort of summer virtual competition. 29:22.76 Johnathan Woodward The fact that ah, there's a lot of different voices and we don't always agree. Um and that leads to some ah some pretty lively debate about different issues. But um. 29:33.75 Drew Are. 29:36.21 Johnathan Woodward So I don't necessarily see there being a movement towards something like what you're proposing. 30:25.75 Drew Um. 30:27.86 Johnathan Woodward Yeah I mean if it's strictly up to me I would be very happy to continue having ah the rookie rumble and or or some other type of summer virtual competition I mean I think the rumble makes more sense than Olt just because I think ah certainly that. 30:41.24 Drew I Think that the emergence of Rookie rumble at least to me was exciting because it showed the ability and and ease with which amta is able to facilitate more tournaments. 30:45.77 Johnathan Woodward Ah, that proved itself just in the registration numbers I think we had way more interest in Rookie rumble than we had from from graduated seniors who have already sort of sort of moved on and are planning their next life steps I think there's more excitement by folks who are seeing this as a practice opportunity leading in. 30:58.56 Drew Outside of just Regionals Orcs nationals and I know that we've talked on this podcast a lot about you know potential ways to to modify that system and maybe adding in fall invitationals that are you know am to sanction I know that you guys did a um, kind of a. 31:05.59 Johnathan Woodward To a new season and as I mentioned from amtas own perspective I think it's valuable for for some of our newer members and folks who are interested in exploring candidacy for the board to get that work experience. Um, and obviously the benefit to online mock trial is there's no travel costs for anyone I mean it's It's something that. 31:16.93 Drew A version of that. Um, in recent years that was kind of to allow some newer programs to get an invitational torment under their belt. Do you see? um both of those examples as ways that amta is trying to expand Beyond Just the. 31:25.72 Johnathan Woodward That doesn't take a lot of resources If you're a competing student which obviously is something that that is important to us. So it's not just up to me. Obviously there's ah. 31:36.21 Drew I'll call it. You know, competitive season of regional Orcs nationals and do you think that that's something that amta wants to get more involved in. 31:40.45 Johnathan Woodward You know committees of folks who who would weigh in on it and I don't know how the rest of the board feels but but if it was just up to me I would I would certainly continue it next summer because I think it there was a good response to it and I think folks had fun with it. 31:57.59 Drew Are. 32:57.81 Johnathan Woodward Yeah I mean certainly that's why I set up this committee that's looking for some opportunities to target that more towards maybe the type of schools that don't have ah the same fall invitational access that a quote unquote. You know, traditionally funded school might have ah so I view that as more of our role. You know I don't think we're looking to necessarily expand into what I'll call the invitational space more generally. Um I think we always have to be careful about. You know, depleting our judge pools for the the sanction tournaments in February March ah, and that sort of thing. Ah, but if there are ways that we can use ah sort of the online tournament structure to ah to grow our membership use it as a way of. 33:30.69 bengarmoe Yeah, and all that makes sense and and I'm really excited to see the work that that this committee is is doing related to you know some possible other opportunities like you mentioned that fit within the structure of of how amta is right now. So we've talked a lot so far about. 33:47.14 Johnathan Woodward Um, sort of mentoring schools providing sort of a stepping stone to getting them in to become more competitive and to maintain or increase our school membership and expand to more different types of institutions I think that's only a positive but are we going to be. You know. 33:49.55 bengarmoe What I would say are theoretical things your your thoughts on on what you're looking to do and and what possibly might happen in the future. So I think for our last major topic of discussion. We wanted to talk about something specific that happened recently and of course that was this year's amp to board meeting. Ah I know that. Drew listened in for much of the first day when a lot of the substantive conversations happened I was fortunate enough to be able to be there and a lot I would say the overwhelming majority of the public discussion during the board meeting related to the topic of invention of fact. 34:07.80 Johnathan Woodward Having like an amped of you know, um like competition for Gaty or you know some of these big name invitationals I don't see that as something that we're looking to ah to get into we I'm I personally am at least pretty protective of wanting to make sure that. Ah. 34:21.69 bengarmoe And specifically the work of the invention ad hoc committee led by Justin Bernstein and and with a lot of other really great people on it. They proposed a number of motions the vast majority of those motions were passed with fairly limited modifications. So as president. 34:26.98 Johnathan Woodward Our championship and the tournaments leading up to the championship are the premiere events and that we're not diluting that by you know, having some other you know type of tournament in the fall that could be viewed as you know competing with that. 34:37.79 bengarmoe How did you feel generally about how the conversations at the board meeting went related to invention and just generally how the board approached the motions that were proposed by the invention committee. 36:06.18 Johnathan Woodward So here's a very interesting thing that if you've never been to an am to board meeting I don't know if you necessarily appreciate. But ah our board meetings run under Robert's rules of order and the president. Ah, is the presiding officer of the meeting. So so similar to you know other deliberative bodies. The chair does not participate in debate the chair doesn't vote. Um except when the vote would affect the outcome. Ah, so my role at the meeting and obviously this was my first time chairing an am to board meeting ah is really to play traffic cop I mean you have you have an agenda and you have a certain number of items that you need to get through and you only have a certain amount of time on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. To get through all of the agenda items you have a room of approximately 30 people. We had a few people who were participating virtually by Zoom and so I was really trying as chair to make sure that I was alternating between folks who were. You know in favor of a particular topic people who are opposed to a particular topic or motion keeping track of you know the different amendments that were being proposed and make sure that everyone knows what we're voting on and that sort of thing. So so my attention. 37:30.95 Johnathan Woodward Oddly enough was really focused on sort of the mechanics of the debate and I found that at the end of the day even like on Sunday evening. Um, you know obviously I'm listening to the debate as it's happening but I'm not listening to it as as a participant in it. It's a very different role. I mean I can tell you that I thought that the debate was it was respectful and I thought that ah that everyone was able to ah to express their their point of view and some of the viewpoints were strong but I think it was very thoughtful. Um. 37:52.11 bengarmoe Yeah, you you compared it to to being traffic cop and I think at times not that the just I think all the discussion and debate at any of these meetings is always very respectful but but you know maybe it's a little bit of traffic cop on the Auto Bond at a few ah few instances when when thoughts are flying back and forth. But. 38:08.85 Johnathan Woodward It was very thorough for sure. Um, and yeah, you know that's what happens when you get a bunch when you get 30 people in a room that that care very deeply about the organization and these important rules and. 38:09.38 bengarmoe I will echo what you were saying I thought it was a really thorough and interesting conversation and just really a lot of fascinating perspectives from really smart people who are in this organization I know that sort of the sentiment you were just expressing is that of course because of your role you are focused more on keeping things. 38:25.15 Johnathan Woodward And they hash it out and they ultimately vote and some things they decided to to change and and some things that were proposed ended up ended up not happening. So um, you know I thought I thought it was a ah productive ah debate and discussion. But but my role in it um was sort of very. 38:29.90 bengarmoe Ah, organized and moving forward. But ah we did for I think about an hour and a half to 2 hours go into committee of the whole and discuss specifically I NVO one which was the necessary inference role. So obviously that that didn't pass Justin previewed at the beginning of the conversation that that he was going to ask it to be sent back to committee. 38:45.10 Johnathan Woodward Very hands on and just making sure that the debate actually happened in an orderly manner and keeping track of things and keeping the the meeting moving on time. So it was a very different sort of perspective than I've normally had when I've been just a member of the body who's. 38:48.55 bengarmoe And a lot of other really great rules pass that I think everyone thinks will have a positive impact but on that topic specifically on I N V O one My guess is there were probably people out there who think that this is still this like looming thing that amta could kind of drop at any moment. 39:00.51 Johnathan Woodward You know voting and making motions and participating in the debate. 39:06.69 bengarmoe So can you kind of explain exactly what happened there and then just give us your sense of where you see that process going now that the ah necessary inference motion has been sent back to the ad hoc committee. 39:27.39 bengarmoe Sure. 40:32.29 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, and obviously it's it's not really my role to to speak for the any particular committee or what they may decide to do or not do so you know if if a committee wants to propose something for the midyear I suppose they could. But. That being said, don't read too much into that comment. It's not like I'm expecting ah some sort of a major sea change to our rules that's going to be made. Ah you know in December um, just from private conversations I've had with folks i'm. 41:05.52 bengarmoe Yeah I really agree with that sentiment that's sort of that was expressed by multiple people at the media and I agreed with it that you know we we made some pretty big changes this year let's put them in put them to work and and see how they go so let me ask this sort of last question about this, you mentioned the competition integrity committee. 41:08.20 Johnathan Woodward I Sort of get the general sense that people want to see how all of these other different changes that were made play out this year and then I anticipate everyone's going to sort of reevaluate and decide whether there are additional or different changes that. 41:25.18 bengarmoe So of course for those who didn't listen to our our ah board meeting episodes. Ah you know or aren't as familiar with this one of the changes that was made is the competition Response Committee was replaced with the competition integrity committee and you as president are tasked with selecting those members that Committee is specifically. 41:28.15 Johnathan Woodward Need to be made going into the 23 24 year um so so whether the ad hoc committee or the competition integrity committee or so or even just an individual director decides to file a motion to ah. 41:44.95 bengarmoe Tasked with dealing with issues related to invention internament review Advisory opinions. All of those really important tasks that we've put on this group of people. So how are you going about and I understand you can't say okay this is the people I've chosen but like how are you going about choosing members. 41:46.68 Johnathan Woodward To change anything that will sort of happen through the the standard process but but at this point am I specifically aware of any big push for that to happen. No um so I sort of get the sense that we're going to see how all of these other. 42:03.78 bengarmoe Of the cic and how does that relate to how you as president see the issue of invention and where it where we are right now with that issue in amta. 42:05.20 Johnathan Woodward Kind of relatively major changes ah with things like the the competition integrity committee and the the in tournament review during championship and all these other things play out during this year 43:23.19 bengarmoe Yeah, yeah. 43:28.92 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, so I sort of put a call out to to all of the directors and candidates and I put together a little I guess I would call it sort of a questionnaire just so that I can get a sense of you know folks who are interested in being on the Cic ah sort of what their views are. Um, on invention issues. Um, and obviously you know, ah these folks have sort of a quasi-judicial Role. We're sort of ah creating this panel. That's going to be creating advisory opinions and have the chance to make rulings During. Ah, during the championship at least for this coming year and then we'll evaluate how it how it happens going forward. So um, so I think it's important for me to get a sense of you know what? folks views are on these issues. Um, obviously one of the things I'm looking at is keeping in mind that um. 44:07.76 bengarmoe Jonathan sort of one I guess I'll call it a clarifying question related to the cic based on what you were saying. Are you limiting who you're considering for the Cic to directors and candidates only and or is that required by by a rule of some sort. 44:22.19 Johnathan Woodward The championship we're going to need at least some number of folks who are affiliated with teams that um you know historically are not at the championship because otherwise you know if all of the Cic is competing then they're all sort of conflicted out. Um, and so so I'm looking at institutional affiliation and it's difficult. You know, um I will say I probably had less people express an interest than I was expecting ah but certainly there are some decisions I'll have to make um. You know in the coming days here I want to get this wrapped up relatively soon. Maybe even by the time ah that this podcast is published. Those will have been announced. But um, but yeah I mean I think it's important ah that that I am of pointing folks that I think. 44:57.21 Drew Um, so one thing I mean I will definitely say that I'm excited to find out who is on ah that committee and and find out exactly what it's going to end up doing because it is a very exciting and important one. Um, one other thing that. And I know that we've discussed it already is the alumni engagement committee that Ria is going to be running. Um, obviously as someone that I think that directly applies to I'm kind of excited to hear and and see what exactly is going to be happening. 45:13.47 Johnathan Woodward Very broadly speaking aligned with ah sort of my views on on these issues. 45:33.12 Drew Um, and and I was wondering if you could give us just a little glimpse as to what your vision is um what you hope they can accomplish what you want to see them do and if you've had any conversations with Ria that you can talk to us about of of how you want her to be running it I'm I'm just kind of intrigued to hear more about it and it was something that I know when i. 45:39.78 Johnathan Woodward Ah I don't read the rule to require it be directors and candidates I think it is going to be primarily directors and candidates. Ah, but there are. 45:52.74 Drew Initially heard it was being proposed and saw it in the minutes I was like oh my gosh? Yes, but um, ah I'm just curious to hear how it's going to be executed. 45:57.40 Johnathan Woodward Some folks who are not directors and candidates. But I think the community would view as functionally equivalent to a director and candidate. Ah that I'm certainly strongly considering. So. 47:12.91 Johnathan Woodward Yeah, and you know I'm trying it and this is true of really most committees I want them to have the tools to do whatever they think they need to do to to be successful and if they have cool ideas I want them to feel empowered to to do them. Ah, so I know they're just sort of getting started I know they're thinking about some additional ah social media type ah type avenues. Ah, but just generally Speaking. Um I Want to make sure that you know when people graduate from college that there's still. Um, a very defined sort of opportunity for them to remain connected to the organization and feel like they have a role in the organization. Whether that's you know, ah connecting them with with judging opportunities or volunteer opportunities Or. Ah, just social media engagement. Um I'm really sort of leaving it up to that committee to decide what they think um, basically cool ideas would be to to work on that going forward. Um and just sort of let them do what they think they need to do. 48:18.67 Drew So as I was hearing you kind of discuss some of the the more general ideas something that I thought of was um, something that I learned actually when I was coaching in Massachusetts and that's that um, in in Massachusetts that part of their state bar. Um, they have a a way. 48:29.83 Johnathan Woodward Um, because one of the things that I've always thought is I know when people graduate a lot of people think of themselves as you know graduates or alumni of their particular team. You know like oh I was in Unbc Mo trial or I was in Ucla Ammo trial. But I really also want to. 48:35.83 Drew In which as a new programmer as a new mock trial team you can ask for a member of the bar to to help advise your team and they will basically assign someone who will you know attend your practices who can help teach rules of evidence. Whatever it might be um, our team didn't end up doing that because. 48:48.89 Johnathan Woodward Make sure that people also think of themselves as having participated in amta that they're part of this larger sort of Nationwide organization on whether it's you know, professional networking opportunities or law school sort of Alumni chapters. Um, whatever they think ah would be. 48:55.47 Drew I don't like too many cooks. But um, it did make me think you know that might be kind of a cool thing to do is to just have a basically ah almost a signup of hey if you're someone who would be willing to coach and then kind of tying back to this vision you have of. 49:08.33 Johnathan Woodward Cool and useful. Um I want to make sure that they're empowered to do that. So so I'm not like giving that committee like a list of things that I want to do um I'm hoping that that Committee does its own brainstorming. Ah and. 49:14.48 Drew Wanting to reach out to more ah schools than specifically the Hbcu use. Um, but to give them that additional resource of resource of a experienced competitor. Um, who who's willing to help out and coach I feel like. 49:26.92 Johnathan Woodward And sees through what they think would be valuable. 49:31.65 Drew I've loved coaching and gotten a ton out of it and if I move to a new city and I don't you know I don't necessarily ah know any programs in that area I think it's something that you know someone like me or or other alums might really like the opportunity to sign up through amta and say hey. I'm going to be in this city I would love to help out coaching you know if there are any teams in this area that are looking for a coach. Please connect me, um, some sort of mechanism like that could be really cool and you know I think there's a a minimum vetting of you know, make sure someone generally knows what they're talking about. Um, but I feel like almost any ah anyone that has gone through you know at least two or three years of amta has a minimum knowledge that they could really help a lot of young teams with so I don't know again I'm I'm using this now as just ah, a way to voice some of my own ideas. But ah. Just I love the idea that we're doing anything honestly with alumni I think it's a hugely untapped resource and I'm I'm excited to see ah whatever, ah Ria and the rest of our committee comes up with so I I don't know if I even found a way to form that into a question. But if you have any thoughts on it I'd love to hear him. 51:08.78 bengarmoe And. 51:10.86 Drew Um, well I guess Lia if you're listening check your phone because I probably texted you. 51:18.87 bengarmoe So Jonathan to to kind of wrap us up here. Ah just sort of wanted to look forward to this season as as we finish. So obviously a lot to look forward to this year we've got invitationals coming up very soon and then amta competitions in 2023 and of course amta announced not too long ago. The 2023 national championship is going to be in Memphis hosted by Rhodes I think we're all really excited for that I think it's going to be a great experience and I'm sure that rhodes is going to do a fantastic job. So what are you looking forward to about this season specifically of course your first season as am to president and more specifically about. Nationals about taking amta nationals to Memphis and having nationals hosted by rhoads. 51:59.20 Johnathan Woodward Ah I Think if you or if anyone else who's listening to this podcast has ah thoughts or ideas on on things that that that committee or frankly any of our committees ah could be doing. You should feel free to email the Committee Chair. Um. And oftentimes. Um you know when folks have ideas like that we turn around and say ok that sounds Great. Why don't you do it?? ah. 53:16.25 Johnathan Woodward Yeah I mean I I don't know how many folks that listen to this podcast were around ah back in 2010 which is the last time that the last and only time ah that rhodes has hosted championship previously. But ah, that was a very fun tournament. Um, obviously I've attended that championship as well as many of the orcs ah tournaments that that rhodes has hosted and ah and Anna obviously has been involved with with this activity just as longer. Maybe even a little bit longer than I have so. 53:48.56 bengarmoe Yeah I think we're all looking forward to that. We're all hoping that that's possible. Um, it's funny what you say about about Anna and her history and this activity and in our conversation with her which will be out by the time this episode is out she mentioned in high school cross-examining Sarah Huckabee Sanders in mock trial. Ah. 53:50.15 Johnathan Woodward Ah, you know I think she really approaches it from the right perspective. It's a very student student focused approach. Um I've already ah had the chance to to find out a little bit of some of the folks that she's looking at for potentially judging the final round. Ah, which are some just some awesome folks. 54:05.96 bengarmoe Yeah, it was quite a story. It was it was we were we were enjoying talking about that. But she also mentioned without naming any names of course some of the folks that that she's working on for the final round. So I'm I'm sure it's going to be a really spectacular event. Well Jonathan we know that this is a very busy time of year. So we really appreciate you taking some time to chat with us. 54:09.54 Johnathan Woodward Ah, on that short list. Um, and it's just going to be a lot of fun I mean ah, it's a gorgeous courthouse for those of you who have not competed there. Um at an ors before. So it's just going to be nice to to be back. Um. 54:25.52 bengarmoe Ah, best of luck Obviously with everything related to amta. We're really grateful for all of the work that you're doing as president and look forward to just seeing the results of so many of these exciting things. So thank you so much for coming back on the show and taking some time to chat with us. 54:26.43 Johnathan Woodward Ah, in Memphis with ah a longtime host that that that I know is already doing a really good job putting things together so and otherwise just you know Josh Lacrone has has done an amazing job is always sort of. 54:41.34 bengarmoe Well to everyone else. Thank you as always for listening and before we go. Of course we can't leave without thanking our gold patrons. Those would include Don Martin Ben wrathsomem felix badakarria Henry Lehman Kate hayner Slattery Andrew Hinkley Ian Lampert the family of Daniel Sosa and Darius Peru and Mike Romano as well as many other gold patrons. We're grateful to each one of you for your support of the show. We're so grateful to each one of you and to everyone in our Patreon and Discord Community for everything that you're doing to help support the show. 54:42.17 Johnathan Woodward Ah, confirming all of our regional and and orcs hosts for the year. Um, so I've just got my fingers crossed that it'll be good to hopefully have a ah full set of in-person regionals for the first time since since Twenty Twenty this year 54:58.98 bengarmoe Thanks again to Jonathan for just being a ah great friend of the show and for coming back on. We've got some really other exciting episodes planned those are going to be in your feeds very soon as we mentioned on our la episode last episode. This is our regular release schedule now on Friday mornings every other week and we're hoping to keep that up for pretty much the rest of the season. 54:59.50 Johnathan Woodward So be kind of cool. 55:17.67 Johnathan Woodward Um, I've I've heard that story. Ah. 55:18.68 bengarmoe Thanks as always for listening until until we're with you again. This has been the mock review with Ben Andrew 55:52.64 Johnathan Woodward Um, anytime.

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