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Four Schools Advance to Semifinal Round of State Mock Trial Championships

HARRISBURG (March 28, 2008) - The mock trial teams from Devon Preparatory School, Greensburg Salem High School, Overbook High School and Quigley Catholic High School are advancing to the semifinal round of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 29, at the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg.

The two teams that are successful in the semifinals will compete in the state championship round taking place at 11 a.m. on Saturday with Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin presiding. All events will take place at the Dauphin County Courthouse.

The four teams advancing to tomorrow's semifinals competed with teams from eight other schools in today's quarterfinal rounds, including Abington Heights High School from Lackawanna County, The Haverford School of Montgomery County, B. Reed Henderson High School from Chester County, J.R. Masterman High School of Philadelphia, Montoursville High School from Lycoming County, Wyoming Seminary High School from Luzerne County, Woodland Hills High School from Allegheny County and York Catholic of York County.

The Devon Preparatory School Mock Trial Team is composed of Christopher D'Aniello, Michael Dokas, James Jacobs, Michael Kiniry, Kenneth Listwak, Brandon Mitchell, Travis Reynolds and Daniel Urdaneta. The teacher coach is Michael Collins. Alan Connelly and Michael D'Aniello are the lawyer advisors.

The Greensburg Salem High School mock trial team is composed of Gabrielle Ahrens, Lauren Basl, Christen Casale, Danielle Cook, Kayla Pickett, Avery Sell, Claire Stewart and Rachel Wright. The teacher coaches are Kenneth Bissell and Judith Washburn. The lawyer advisor is Judge Richard McCormick, Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas. Greensburg Salem mock trial teams won state championships in 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The Overbrook High School mock trial team is composed of Sarah Brown, Kiersten Harris-Andrews, Jamal Hill, Cedric Ingram Jr., Jennifer Josiaste, Lakyra Stokes, Tamika Webb and Ian Wiley. The teacher coach is Philip Beauchemin. Josie Hyman is the lawyer advisor. An Overbrook team won the state championship in 1997.

The Quigley Catholic High School mock trial team is composed of Matthew Coyner, David Fath, Justin Gregory, Ashley Kline, Aaron Kuntz, Will Mengon, Kahla Rosenberger and Jessica Smith. The teacher coach is Timothy Waxenfelter. Ahmed Aziz and James Rockney are the lawyer advisors. Quigley Catholic High School's mock trial teams won state championships in 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2002.

The winning team of this year's state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals to be held May 8-10 in Wilmington, Del.

This year, 295 teams from 253 schools competed in the district and regional levels of Pennsylvania's mock trial competition - one of the largest in the nation. This year's fictional case centers an alleged kidnapping. 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 coaches and lawyer 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.

Expenses for the winning team's trip to the national finals in Wilmington will be funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.

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 6-8, 2010.

For more information on the 2008 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, visit the PBA Web site at http://www.pabar.org/public/yld.

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.