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Quigley Catholic High School to Represent Pennsylvania at National Mock Trial Finals

-- Five time state champions --

HARRISBURG (April 2000) -- Quigley Catholic High School recently captured its fifth statewide mock trial championship title, defeating Mt. Saint Joseph’s Academy of Flourtown, PA, during the final round of the 15th Annual Statewide Mock Trial Competition held Sat., April 8 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 Kathryn A Meloni, chair of the Young Lawyers Division and juror in the final round. “Now in its 15th 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 voluntary manslaughter case involving a student who shot and killed the spouse of a teacher whom he feared would attack him and/or the teacher. 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. Quigley Catholic now will represent Pennsylvania at the National Mock Trial Finals to be held next month in Columbia, SC.

“Mock Trial is an absolutely wonderful program for everyone involved,” noted Quigley attorney advisors James Ross and Ahmed Aziz. “After the students studied the case and wrote their own openings and closings, we assisted them with courtroom demeanor, cross examination of witnesses and the appropriate use of legal terms. The teacher-coach, who donated over 1,000 hours to mock trial, pulled everything together and produced the winning team.”

The Quigley student mock trial team was comprised of: David Bodimer, Brian Fleeson, Brett Havranek, Kate Kendrew, Matthew Popovich, Jessica Schmatz, Gina Tennerelli and Vincente Tennerelli. The attorney advisors were Ahmed Aziz and James Ross. Timothy Waxenfelter 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 at [www.pabar.org].