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Local High Schools to Compete in Statewide Mock Trial Competitions

The Montgomery Bar Association announces the start of district competitions for the Statewide Mock Trial Championships on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm at the Montgomery County Courthouse.  Friends Central School, Germantown Academy, Gwynedd Mercy Academy, Harriton High School, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, LaSalle College High School, Lower Merion High School, Lower Moreland High School, Methacton High School, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, North Penn High School, Phil-Mont Christian Academy, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Pottsgrove High School, The Baldwin School, The Haverford School, and Upper Dublin High School will be participating in the local competitions. These schools are among the 318 high school teams competing from across Pennsylvania.

The mock trial competition gives eight-member student teams the opportunity to argue both sides of a case in an actual courtroom before a judge. The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, are assisted by teacher coaches and lawyer advisors in preparing for competition. Volunteer lawyers and community leaders serve as jurors in the trials. The juries determine the winners in each trial based on the teams’ abilities to prepare their cases, present arguments and follow court rules.

This year’s mock trial case centers on an employer’s potential liability for the negligent actions of an employee.

The district level competitions will continue throughout February and March with 12 teams advancing to the PBA Statewide Mock Trial Championships, March 27 and 28, in Harrisburg. The winner of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania at the national mock trial finals in late spring in Atlanta, Georgia. Pennsylvania’s mock trial program is one of the largest in the nation.

The Pennsylvania Cable Network will record the final round of the statewide competition for later airing. Scheduling information will be posted on the network’s website at http://www.pcntv.com. The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, will provide funding support for the broadcast.

Click here for more information on the 2009 PBA Statewide Mock Trial Championships and to read this year’s case.

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