Court of Appeals hosts high school mock trial championship
They argued their points like seasoned attorneys, showing no nerves as they presented their cases in the state’s highest court in April. The stakes were high and the decision was narrowly won, but shortly after closing arguments, Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Joseph F. Murphy, Jr., announced that the Park School of Baltimore County was the winner of the 2011 High School Mock Trial Championship. Coming in a close second was the team from Montgomery County’s Richard Montgomery High School.
The championship was the culmination of a year of competition that began last fall when more than 2,000 students, representing 131 high schools across Maryland, entered the Maryland State Bar Association’s (MSBA) annual statewide High School Mock Trial Competition. Each team competes at least four times in local matches held in District and Circuit courthouses.
The success of the mock trial competition depends upon volunteer attorneys and judges who coach teams and score competitions at local, regional, semifinal and championship levels.
Judge Murphy congratulated both championship teams, who came to the match after winning in the semifinals only the day before. “To turn around and do this again the next day, and so well, is a credit to you and to your coaches,” he told the capacity crowd in the Court of Appeals courtroom.
More than 48,000 Maryland students have participated in MSBA's Mock Trial Competition since it began in 1983. MSBA's educational arm in Maryland schools, the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program (CLREP), manages the competition. “It’s a wonderful competition and combined organizational effort,” Judge Murphy said.
The championship was webcast live and can be seen on the Judiciary’s website, which also has more information about the mock trial program, including how to start a team, with links to CLREP.
Watch the Webcast of the 2011 Mock Trial State Championship
April 15 event: Mock Trial Championship (wmv) 548.71 MB