2013 Statewide Mock Trial Competition Includes More Than 300 Pennsylvania High School Teams

HARRISBURG (Jan. 16, 2013) - Beginning this month, 312 teams from 259 high schools across Pennsylvania will be competing in district and regional levels of the Statewide Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

Pennsylvania's mock trial program, now in its 30th year, is one of the largest in the nation.

"Participation in mock trial competition is one of the top academic challenges that thousands of Pennsylvania students will face during their high school careers," said Jacob A. Gurwitz of Reading, chair of the association's Young Lawyers Division. "The students must demonstrate excellent presentation and critical-thinking skills in front of real-life judges, lawyers and business professionals, who will determine whether the students have what it takes to advance to higher rounds of competition."

Gurwitz extended a thank-you to teachers and lawyers participating in the program.

"Preparing students for district, regional and state mock trials requires thousands of hours of dedicated leadership and guidance from teachers and lawyers who voluntarily step forward to help with this program. This competition simply would not be possible without their tremendous support," Gurwitz said.

During the competition, eight-member student teams are given the opportunity to argue both sides of the 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. Lawyers and community leaders serve as jurors for the mock trials. The juries determine the winners in each trial based on the teams' abilities to prepare their cases, present arguments and follow court rules.

The district and regional levels of the competition will continue throughout February and March. At the conclusion of the local competitions, 12 high school mock trial teams will advance to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, March 22 and 23, in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Cable Network will record the final round of the competition for later airing statewide.

The winning team of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals to be held May 9 - 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, will provide funding support for the statewide competition.

The chair of the Mock Trial Executive Committee is Traci L. Naugle of Altoona.

For this year's hypothetical case, a jury must determine if the developer of an urban renewal project is responsible for a crane collapse that killed two people.

The case was written by Jonathan A. Grode of Philadelphia and Paul W. Kaufman of Philadelphia. Jane E. Meyer of Harrisburg edited the final version of the case in collaboration with Grode and Kaufman.

For more information about the 2013 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships and to read this year's case, go to the Young Lawyers Division's section of the PBA website at http://www.pabar.org. Interested volunteers should contact Maria Engles of the Pennsylvania Bar Association at 800-932-0311, extension 2223.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 28,000 lawyers who are members of the association.

Teams participating in the 2013 Statewide Mock Trial Competition are from the following schools:

Baldwin High School
Chartiers Valley High School
Eden Christian Academy
Elizabeth Forward High School
Gateway High School
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Montour High School
Mount Lebanon High School
North Allegheny Senior High School
Northgate School District
Pine-Richland High School
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy
Quaker Valley High School
Riverview Jr./Sr. High School
Saint Joseph High School (three teams)
Seton LaSalle High School
Sewickley Academy
Shady Side Academy
Shaler Area High School
South Fayette High School
Springdale Jr./Sr. High School
Taylor Allderdice High School
The Neighborhood Academy
Thomas Jefferson High School
Upper St. Clair High School
West Allegheny High School
Winchester Thurston School
Woodland Hills High School

District 1: (Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence)

Ambridge Area High School
Beaver Area School District (three teams)
Blackhawk High School
Butler Area School District (two teams)
Central Valley School District (two teams)
Freeport Area High School
Hopewell Area School District
Lincoln High School
Moniteau High School
New Brighton Area Sr. High School
New Castle High School
Quigley Catholic High School
Riverside Beaver County High School
Seneca Valley Intermediate High School
Seneca Valley Senior High School

District 2: (Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren)
Cambridge Springs High School (two teams)
Conneaut Area Senior High School (two teams)
Fort LeBoeuf High School (two teams)
McDowell High School (two teams)
Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy (two teams)
Northwestern High School (two teams)
Oil City Senior High School
Saegertown High School
Sheffield Area Middle/High School (two teams)
Warren Area High School
Youngsville High School (two teams)

District 1: (Westmoreland)

Franklin Regional Senior High School
Greensburg Salem High School
Kiski Area High School
Mount Pleasant Area Jr./Sr. High School
Penn-Trafford High School
Southmoreland High School
Valley High School

District 2: (Fayette, Greene and Washington)
Brownsville Area High School
Charleroi High School
Connellsville Area Senior High School
Derry Area High School
Fort Cherry Jr./Sr. High School
Frazier School District
Laurel Highlands High School
Peters Township High School
Ringgold High School
Trinity High School (two teams)
West Greene Middle School

District 3: (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Indiana, Mifflin and Somerset)
Altoona Area High School (two teams)
Bellwood-Antis High School
Bishop Carroll High School
Bishop McCort Catholic High School
Brockway Area Jr./Sr. High School
Brookville Area Jr./Sr. High School
Central Cambria High School
Central High School (two teams)
DuBois Area High School
DuBois Central Catholic High School
Forest Hills High School
Homer-Center High School
Hollidaysburg Senior High School
Huntingdon Area High School
Indiana Area Senior High School
Richland Senior High School (two teams)
Somerset Area High School
Tyrone Area High School
Westmont Hilltop High School

District 1: (Centre, Clearfield and Clinton)

Bald Eagle Area High School
Bellefonte Area High School
Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy
State College Area High School

District 2: (Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Tioga and Union)
Jersey Shore Area Senior High School
Lewisburg Area High School
Mansfield Jr./Sr. High School
Montoursville Area High School
Wellsboro Area High School
Williamson Jr./Sr. High School

District 3: (Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter)
Coudersport Jr./Sr. High School
Kane Area School District
Oswayo Valley High School
Otto-Eldred High School
Port Allegany High School
Smethport Area High School

District 1: (Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill)

Allentown Central Catholic High School
Antietam Middle-Senior High School
Bethlehem Catholic High School
Boyertown Area Senior High School
Brandywine Heights High School
Conrad Weiser Area High School
Easton Area High School
Exeter Twp. Sr. High School
Fleetwood Area High School
Governor Mifflin High School
Marian Catholic High School
Muhlenberg High School (two teams)
Nativity BVM High School
Nazareth Area High School
Notre Dame High School
Palmerton Area High School
Parkland High School
Pen Argyl High School
Saucon Valley High School
Schuylkill Valley High School
Tulpehocken High School

District 2: (Luzerne)
Hanover Area Jr./Sr. High School
Hazleton Area High School
Holy Redeemer High School
MMI Preparatory School
Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School

District 3: (Bradford, Lackawanna, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming)
Abington Heights High School
Carbondale Area Jr./Sr. High School
Dunmore High School
Holy Cross High School
Honesdale High School
Lackawanna Trail High School
Lakeland Jr./Sr. High School
Mid Valley High School
North Pocono High School
Old Forge High School
Scranton High School
Scranton Preparatory School
Valley View High School
West Scranton High School
Western Wayne School District

District 4: (Monroe and Pike)
East Stroudsburg High School South
Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School
Pleasant Valley High School
Pocono Mountain East High School
Pocono Mountain West High School
Wallenpaupack Area High School

District 1: (Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon and Perry)

Bishop McDevitt High School
Central Dauphin High School
Cumberland Valley High School (two teams)
Milton Hershey School
SciTech High School
Susquehanna Township High School
West Perry High School

District 2: (Adams and York)
Central York High School
Kennard-Dale High School
Littlestown High School
Northern High School
Red Lion Area Sr. High School
Spring Grove Area High School (three temas)
West York Area High School
York Catholic High School

District 3: (Lancaster)
Cocalico High School
Conestoga Valley High School
J.P. McCaskey High School (two teams)
Lancaster Catholic High School
Lancaster Country Day School
Penn Manor High School
Solanco High School

District 1: (Chester)

B. Reed Henderson High School
Bayard Rustin High School (two teams)
Bishop Shanahan High School
Devon Preparatory School
Downingtown High School West
Great Valley High School
Kennett High School (two teams)
Malvern Preparatory School
Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School
Villa Maria Academy (two teams)
West Chester East High School (two teams)

District 2: (Delaware)
Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
Archbishop John Carroll High School (two teams)
Archbishop Prendergast High School
Delaware County Christian School
Merion Mercy Academy (two teams)
Monsignor Bonner High School
Penn Wood High School (three teams)
Ridley High School (two teams)
Springfield High School
Strath Haven High School (two teams)
The Episcopal Academy

District 3: (Bucks)
Archbishop Wood High School (two teams)
Bensalem High School
Bristol High School
Central Bucks High School East
Central Bucks High School South
Holy Ghost Preparatory School (three teams)
Lenape Middle School
New Hope-Solebury High School
Pennridge High School
Plumstead Christian School (two teams)
Quakertown Community High School
William Tennent High School

Abraham Lincoln High School
Boys Latin of Philadelphia
Central High School (two teams)
Constitution High School (two teams)
Delaware Valley Charter High School
Father Judge High School
Frankford High School
Franklin Learning Center High School
Freire Charter School
Friends Select School
G.W. Carver High School of Engineering and Science
Germantown Friends School (two teams)
Girard Academic Music Program
Girard College (two teams)
Imhotep Institute Charter High School
Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls
Nazareth Academy High School
New Media Technology Charter School
Northeast High School
Philadelphia Mennonite High School
Roman Catholic High School (three teams)
Saint Joseph's Preparatory School (two teams)
Samuel S. Fels High School
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School
The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School
William Penn Charter School (two teams)

Friends Central School (two teams)
Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School
Harriton High School
Jenkintown High School
La Salle College High School (two teams)
Lower Merion High School
Lower Moreland High School (two teams)
Methacton High School (two teams)
Mount Saint Joseph Academy (two teams)
Norristown Area High School
North Penn High School (two teams)
Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (two teams)
Pottsgrove High School
Souderton Area High School
The Baldwin School
The Haverford School (two teams)
The Hill School
Upper Dublin High School (two teams)
Wissahickon High School (two teams)