Friday, March 10, 2017

Congratulations to the Abington Heights High School Mock Trial Team On Advancing to the State Championships

Proudly congratulating the Abington Heights High School Mock Trial Team for winning both the District 1 Championship and then winning the Region 10 Championship last night which allows them to advance onto the State Championships set to take place in Harrisburg, PA on March 24-25, 2017.

During the competition, student teams present and argue both sides of a trial in an actual courtroom before a judge.  In some years the case involves a criminal trial and in other years the case is a civil trial.  The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, expert witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, are assisted by teacher coaches and lawyer advisors in preparing for competition. Lawyers and community leaders serve as jurors for the mock trials. The juries determine the winners in each trial based on scoring of the teams' abilities to prepare their cases, present arguments, and follow court rules and procedures.

The Abington Heights High School's Teacher Advisor is Len Romanski, a social studies teacher at the school.  Along with Julie Zaleski, Esquire, Tom Specht, Esquire, Claire Czaykowski, Esquire, I served as one of the Attorney Advisors for the team and highly recommend that others look for local high school teams to assist them in preparing their cases for next year's Mock Trial Competition (teams typically begin practicing near the end of the calendar year for the competitions that start in February every year). 

Serving as an Attorney Advisor is a truly rewarding experience and a great way to give back to the community and to generate good will for the legal profession.  You will likely also find that you learn a thing or two from these young attorneys in terms of coherent, concise case presentation.

Another way to assist the Mock Trial program is to volunteer your time to serve as a juror at one of the trials.  The teams advance based upon their scoring as determined by attorneys who sit on the jury and who evaluate the attorneys on their Opening Statements, Direct Examination, Cross-Examination, handling of objections, and their Closing Arguments.  The student-witnesses are also judged by the jury in terms of their performances as well.  The Mock Trials typically run approximately two hours and so the time commitment is minimal but the rewarding feeling of helping out the program is great.

As stated, encouraging and mentoring potential future lawyers through the Mock Trial program is a great way to pass down the traditions of our profession to the next generation.

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