Scranton Preparatory School Wins Statewide Mock Trial Competition, Team Will Compete at National Competition in Philadelphia, May 6 - 9

HARRISBURG (March 27, 2010) - Scranton Preparatory School of Lackawanna County today won the 27th Annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition.

Scranton Preparatory School also won the PBA Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition in 1991.

The Scranton Preparatory School Mock Trial Team is composed of Jennifer Boland, Joseph Burke, Allison Durkin, Julia Fick, Stephen Murphy, Daniel Penetar, Devon Sheridan and Anna Walsh. The teacher coach is Mary Grace Phillips. The attorney advisors are Magistrate Judge Malachy Mannion of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and John O'Brien.

Scranton Preparatory School will represent Pennsylvania in the 2010 National High School Mock Trial Championship taking place May 6 - 9 in Philadelphia. Drexel University is the proud partner of the PBA's statewide mock trial program and is the leadership sponsor of the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Philadelphia. More information about the national event is available at this Web site: http://www.2010nationalmocktrial.com.

Scranton Preparatory School played the role of defense and B. Reed Henderson High School (Chester County) played the role of prosecution in the final round of competition today. Joanne Epps, dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law, served as the presiding judge.

The B. Reed Henderson High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Michael Augustyn, Pragya Kalla, Shane Kelly, Tyler Lauletta, Anthony Panichelli, David Rosenthal, Vince Ross and Sheldon Satenstein. The teacher coach is Ronald Miller. The attorney advisor is John Craynock.

"To make it to the state championship level of competition, the students have clearly demonstrated excellent communication and analytical skills and the ability to work together as a team," said Timothy S. Burns of Johnstown, chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, which organizes and oversees the event. "We congratulate the students who, with the support of their teacher and lawyer advisors, have risen to the top level of this year's competition."

Burns also commended the hundreds of other students across the state who invested their talents and energies to this year's competition and the many teachers and lawyers who generously gave their time and expertise to preparing the students for mock trial competition.

Co-chairs of the Mock Trial Executive Committee were Ryan Blazure of Kingston and Traci L. Naugle of Altoona. This year's hypothetical trial case, which focused on the murder of a financial analyst employed by a Philadelphia investment firm, was written by Jonathan A. Grode of Philadelphia. Jane E. Meyer of Harrisburg, a prior chairperson of the PBA/YLD Mock Trial Committee and current member of the National High School Mock Trial Championship Board of Directors, edited the final version of the case in collaboration with Grode and Paul W. Kaufman of Philadelphia.

This year, 339 teams from 284 high schools competed in the district and regional levels of Pennsylvania's mock trial competition - one of the largest in the nation. Following the local competitions, 12 high school teams advanced to the state mock trial championships. All 12 teams competed in two quarterfinal rounds on Friday, March 26.

Through 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 attorney 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.

Earlier today, competing in the semi-final round of competition with Scranton Preparatory School and B. Reed Henderson High School were Julia R. Masterman High School Mock Trial Team (Philadelphia County) and Wyoming Seminary Mock Trial Team (Luzerne County)

The Julia R. Masterman High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Lindsey Aragon, Max Dugan, Kim Grinberg, Kristen Lau, Gabby Loredo, Marcus Mundy, Brian Murray, Samantha Napierkowski and Huizhong Wu. The teacher coach is Brent Gray. The attorney advisor is Crystal M. Fritsch. The Julia R. Masterman High School Mock Trial won the PBA Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition in 1999.

The Wyoming Seminary Mock Trial Team is composed of Linda Bader, Dustin Magaziner, Logan May, Ellie McDougal, Renata O'Donnell, Nicholas Strzeletz, Banner White and Beau Zafrany. The teacher coaches are Adam Carlisle and Justin Naylor. The attorney advisors are Cathy O'Donnell, Neil O'Donnell and Gregg Spath.

In addition to the four teams competing in today's semifinals, the eight additional teams participating in the state championships included the following: Butler Area High School (Butler County), Cumberland Valley High School (Cumberland County), Eden Christian Academy (Allegheny County), Greensburg Salem High School (Westmoreland County), Holy Ghost Preparatory School (Bucks County), Montoursville Area High School (Lycoming County), Mount Saint Joseph Academy (Montgomery County) and Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia County).

The Pennsylvania Cable Network will record the final round of the competition for airing statewide on the following dates and times: April 9 at 7 p.m., April 10 at 10 p.m. and April 11 at 3 p.m. The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, is providing funding support for the broadcast. Also, DVDs of the final round will be available for purchase from the network's Web site at www.pcntv.com.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, visit the PBA Web site at http://www.pabar.org.

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 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.





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