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PA High Schools Invited to Register for 2003 Statewide Mock Trial Competition

HARRISBURG (Oct. 22, 2002) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (PBA/YLD) is now accepting registrations from Pennsylvania high schools for the 2003 Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition.

“The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division sponsors this competition to give Pennsylvania high school students first-hand experience with the legal system,” said PBA/YLD Chair Charles Eppolito III. “Now in its 19th year, the mock trial competition has become an important and popular academic competitive event for high schools across the commonwealth. I hope the competition continues to grow so that more students and schools can take advantage of this terrific opportunity.”

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 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.

Each year, over 250 high schools compete in the district and regional levels of Pennsylvania’s mock trial competition — one of the largest in the nation. Twelve Pennsylvania high school mock trial teams will advance to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships on March 28 and 29 in Harrisburg, Pa. The winner of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals May 8-11, 2003 in New Orleans, La.

This year’s case, which will be used throughout the state in all mock trial competitions, is a civil action centering around underage drinking and driving. The case initially was drafted by a 2002 Temple University Beasley School of Law graduate.

For more information on the 2003 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Competition, to download an application or to read this year’s case, visit www.pabar.org/yldstatewidemock.asp. The registration deadline for schools is Nov. 8.