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- Students will represent Pennsylvania at National Mock Trial Finals -

HARRISBURG (April 2001) - Greensburg-Salem High School recently captured the statewide mock trial championship title, defeating Devon Prep High School of Devon, PA, during the final round of the 16th Annual Statewide Mock Trial Competition held Sat., March 31 at the Old Cumberland County Courthouse, Carlisle, PA. The competition is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

“The PBA Young Lawyers Division sponsors this competition to give Pennsylvania high school students first-hand experience with the legal system,” said Jacqueline M. Vigilante, chair of the Young Lawyers Division. “Now in its 16th year, the mock trial competition has become an important competitive event for high schools across the commonwealth.”

This year’s case, created by the Temple-LEAP Program of the Temple University Beasley School of Law, was a civil case involving whether a gun owner should be held liable for a gun shot wound suffered by a individual because of the manner in which the gun was accessible to two minors. During the district and regional competitions, 250 teams from across Pennsylvania had the opportunity to serve as the prosecution and defense teams for this case. The eight regional winners then advanced to the statewide mock trial finals. Greensburg-Salem now will represent Pennsylvania at the National Mock Trial Finals to be held next month in Omaha, NE, May 10 - 13.

“I have been involved with mock trial for eight years,” noted the team’s attorney advisor, the Honorable Richard McCormick Jr. “It has been a lot of work with a lot of hardworking kids. They are great kids to spend time with and teach. It's been even more enjoyable because of how well they have done.”

The Greensburg-Salem student mock trial team is comprised of: Nicole Love; Chris Marsh; Patrick Martin; Andrew Nogasky; Megan Nogasky; Haley Saba; Dan Rotigel; and Scott Vrable. The attorney advisor was the Honorable Richard McCormick Jr. Judith Washburn served as the teacher-coach.

Pennsylvania’s annual mock trial competition, one of the largest in the nation, gives eight-member student teams the opportunity to argue cases 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 attorneys 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.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s mock trial program, visit the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Web site www.pabar.org.