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B. Reed Henderson High School, The Haverford School, Overbrook High School, Saint Joseph's Preparatory School and Strath Haven High School Advance to State Mock Trial Championships

HARRISBURG (March 24, 2009) - B. Reed Henderson High School, The Haverford School, Overbrook High School, Saint Joseph's Preparatory School and Strath Haven High School are five of 12 Pennsylvania high school teams advancing to the 25th Annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28, at the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. The winning team of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals to be held May 6 - 10 in Atlanta, Ga.

The Overbrook High School Mock Trial Team won the state championship 1997, 2004 and 2008. The Haverford School Mock Trial Team and B. Reed Henderson High School Mock Trial Team also participated in last year's state championships.

"Students participating in these final rounds of competition are not only impressive but inspiring to watch," said Ryan Blazure of Kingston, chair of the association's Young Lawyers Division and co-chair of the Statewide Mock Trial Executive Committee. "To make it this far in the competition, the students must demonstrate excellent communication and analytical skills and the ability to work together as a team. There is no doubt that these students give it their all in attempts to be named '2009 Mock Trial Champions.'"

All 12 teams will compete in two quarterfinal rounds from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. The four winning teams of the quarterfinal rounds will advance to the semifinal round at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The state championship round will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday with Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, presiding.

This year, 316 teams from 267 schools competed in district and regional levels of Pennsylvania's mock trial competition - one of the largest in the nation. This year's fictional case centers on an employer's potential liability for the negligent actions of an employee.

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 and lawyer coaches 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.

The B. Reed Henderson High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Michael Gardo, Chris Glessner, Pragya Kalla, Tyler Lauletta, Gemma Lenowitz, Anthony Panichelli, David Rosenthal and Nick Santalucia. The teacher coach is Ronald Miller. John Craynock is the lawyer coach.

The Haverford School Mock Trial Team is composed of Clay (Scooter) Boggs, Sebastian Gilbert, Harry Golden, Jason Morgan and Matthew Schantz. The teacher coach is Carmen Meteos- Hirshman. Frank DeSimone is the lawyer coach.

The Overbook High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Larria Bolding, Jessica Drake, Ayrton Hamilton, Emem Ikpe, Remeeka Manning, Antwann Postell, Anthony Thomas and Candace Warren. The teacher coach is Philip Beauchemin. Josie Hyman and Lajuan Tucker are the lawyer coaches.

The Saint Joseph's Preparatory School Mock Trial Team is composed of Gabriel Bedell, Matthew Chung, Fred DeRitis, Alex Glica, Michael Lario, Matthew McDonnell, Arjuna Petit Jr. and Frank Rizzo. The teacher coach is Kathryn Quinter. Charles Gallagher and Thomas Johnson are the lawyer coaches.

The Strath Haven High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Grace Li, Brendan McEntee, Bridget McGeehan, Caroline Murphy, Lainy Painter, Lia Rosalsky, Ryder Scott and Suzanne Zakaria. The teacher coach is Richard Foulk. Jerry Kristal and Michelle Stranen are the lawyer coaches.

Blazure's co-chair of the Mock Trial Executive Committee is Jennifer J. Walsh of Scranton. This year's mock trial case was written by Jonathan A. Grode, a 2008 graduate of the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. Jane E. Meyer, 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 problem in collaboration with Grode.

Drexel University is the proud partner of the PBA's statewide mock trial program and is the leadership sponsor of the 2010 National Mock Trial Competition, which will be held in Philadelphia, May 6 - 9, 2010.

The Pennsylvania Cable Network will record the final round of the competition for airing statewide on the following dates and times: April 3 at 7 p.m., April 4 at 5 p.m. and April 5 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 on the 2009 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.