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The Park School Wins 2017 Mock Trial State Championship
(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, April 28, 2016) — Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Michele D. Hotten today announced The Park School as the winner of the 2017 Mock Trial State Championship. Baltimore City College High School and The Park School (Baltimore County) competed in the championship final in the historic Court of Appeals today in the state’s 34th annual competition.
“I was honored to preside over the Maryland Mock Trial Championship this year,” said Judge Hotten. “The stellar performances of these teams reflected a tremendous amount of dedication, hard work, preparation and confidence. I applaud the pinnacle of success these finalists have achieved and the sportsmanship exhibited by both teams during the mock trial.”
This year’s mock trial case, Maryland v. Saratoga, provided the opportunity for students to research and study the environmental justice issue of contaminated water supplies in communities and schools, which has been brought to the forefront of legal discourse due to the crisis in Flint, Michigan. The students received information about the mock case, which included criminal charges filed against a local school superintendent after high concentrations of lead were found in the district’s drinking fountains.
“The Maryland Judiciary has an honored tradition of working with the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and the Citizenship Law Related Education Program (CLREP) to educate students and the public about the judicial branch of government,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “Programs such as the Mock Trial State Competition encourage students to develop their understanding of and appreciation for our system of justice and the role of the rule of law in our democracy. I congratulate all of the teams competing in this year’s Mock Trial Competition, those teams competing in the semifinal round, and commend the Baltimore City College High School and The Park School teams for their performance in the final round of competition.”
The mock trial competition depends heavily on the several hundred judges, magistrates, and attorneys who volunteer to coach the teams and score the competitions at the local, regional, semifinal, and final levels, providing high school students throughout Maryland the opportunity to learn about the law and the legal system while developing advocacy skills. Since the competition began in 1983, more than 62,000 students from nearly all of the counties in Maryland and Baltimore City have participated.
“Mock trials provide an excellent opportunity for state and local bar associations to connect with students and the community,” said Judge Harry C. Storm, Montgomery County Circuit Court, who is also president of the MSBA. “Attorneys throughout the state are rewarded with a unique opportunity to coach and connect with the next generation of jurists.”
The Mock Trial semifinals were held on Thursday, April 27, at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, with Court of Special Appeals Judge Timothy E. Meredith and Court of Special Appeals Judge Douglas R. M. Nazarian presiding. The four semifinal teams included Baltimore City College High School; Bishop Walsh High School (Allegany County); The Park School (Baltimore County); and Winston Churchill High School (Montgomery County).
“The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and Citizenship Law Related Education Program’s Mock Trial Competition is incredibly fortunate to have the support and participation of many of Maryland’s judges and lawyers,” said Shelley Brown, Executive Director, CLREP. “Their involvement and enthusiasm creates a unique, authentic educational experience for nearly two thousand Maryland students and teachers every year.”
The mock trial competition is coordinated by the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program in cooperation with the Maryland State Bar Association and the Maryland Judiciary. Every year, high school mock trial teams participate at least four times each in local competitions. By the time a team has reached the state championship, it will have competed, on average, more than eight times. Virtually all competitions are held in either District Court or Circuit Court courtrooms throughout the state.
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