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12 PENNSYLVANIA HIGH SCHOOLS ADVANCE TO STATE MOCK TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

HARRISBURG (March 29, 2005) — Twelve Pennsylvania high schools will advance to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships April 1 - 2 at the Dauphin County Courthouse, Harrisburg, Pa. The winner of the state championship, whose trip will be funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals in May in Charlotte, N.C. The twelve schools are:

  • Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Villanova
  • Franklin Learning Center, Philadelphia
  • Greensburg-Salem High School, Greensburg
  • Holy Ghost Preparatory School, Bensalem
  • Montoursville Area Senior High School, Montoursville
  • Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Flourtown
  • New Brighton Area High School, New Brighton
  • Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School, Philadelphia
  • Scranton Preparatory School, Scranton
  • West York Area High School, York
  • Woodland Hills High School, Pittsburgh
  • Wyoming Seminary, Kingston

“For 21 years, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division has sponsored this competition to give Pennsylvania high school students first-hand experience with the American justice system,” said James Wells, Esq., PBA/YLD chair. “An important academic competitive event for high schools, mock trial provides students with an opportunity to develop important communication skills, learn courtroom procedure and work together as a team.”

All 12 teams will compete in two quarterfinal rounds on Friday, April 1, at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Dauphin County Courthouse. The four winning teams of the quarterfinal rounds will advance to the semifinal round on Saturday, April 2, at 8:30 a.m. at the Dauphin County Courthouse. The state championship round will take place at noon on Saturday, April 2, in the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber with First Lady Judge Marjorie O. Rendell presiding.

This year, over 270 high school teams competed in the district and regional levels of Pennsylvania’s mock trial competition — one of the largest in the nation. This year’s case, which is used throughout the state in all mock trial competitions, centers on a fictional civil action brought by the parents of a young man who died from injuries caused by a crowd-crushing incident at a rap concert.

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.

  • The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur Mock Trial Team is composed of Anne Callen, Stephanie Ferrone, Lauren Huntington, Lauren Katona, Erin Naku, Randi Scott, Laura Sestokas and Rima Sestokas. The teacher coach is Ellen Lipschutz, and the attorney advisor is Joan Turner.
  • The Franklin Learning Center Mock Trial Team is composed of Marcus Greene, Sierra Jones, Kenneth Kilson, Monique Leslie, Kristian Lopez, Cassim Tate, Darius Thomas and Kariemah White. The teacher coach is Ann Levine, and the attorney advisors are Todd McCoy, Dan Schaffzin, Jen Herbst, Kate Traylor, Dana Blaney and Kassem Lucas.
  • The Greensburg-Salem High School Mock Trial Team is composed of John Dumnich, Ron Garofalo, Kelsey Henkel, Christopher Ladd, Cathy Roseski, Emily Tatro, Amanda Waugh and Danielle Waugh. The teacher coach is Judith Washburn, and the attorney advisor is Judge Richard McCormick Jr.
  • The Holy Ghost Preparatory School Mock Trial Team is composed of Brian Biasini, Andrew Chase, James Domzalski, Justin Flores, Daniel McIntosh, Kim O'Reilly and Robert Tsender. The teacher coach is Thomas Eckerle, and the attorney advisors are Kristine Michael and Randi Riesner.
  • The Montoursville Area Senior High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Sere Altebrando, Ashley Fowler, Kaitlyn Ludgate, Ryan Lynch, Sammie Martinez, Amanda Reed, Madison Rupert and Riley Snyder. The teacher coach is Dan Wright, and the attorney advisor is Bret Southard.
  • The Mount Saint Joseph Academy Mock Trial Team is composed of Sarah DelRicci, Laura DiDomenico, Victoria Foltz, Stephanie Gasper, Tierney Houck, Angela Koerper, Eva Liggett and Karleigh Rose Pettit. The teacher coaches are Cliff Queen and John Turner, and the attorney advisor is Terence Houck.
  • The New Brighton Area High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Chris Channells, Kiah Guilford, Lindsay Kurtz, Melanie Petrucci, Vicki Romigh and Rachel Wagner. The teacher coach is David Hartung, and the attorney advisor is Mary Murray.
  • The Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School Mock Trial Team is composed of Michael Bradley, Timothy Brogan, Brendan Curtin, Joseph McNelis, Brandon Powell, Thomas Quinn, Warren Raiti and Daniel Shindle. The teacher coach is William Conners, and the attorney advisors are Thomas Johnson and George Schoener Jr.
  • The Scranton Preparatory School Mock Trial Team is composed of Elizabeth Burke, Kathryn Burke, Mark Kania, Ryan Lynady, Jason Mannion, Molly O'Brien, John Rizzo and Layla Tabatabaie. The teacher coach is Mary Grace Phillips, and the attorney advisors are John O'Brien, Judge Malachy Mannion and Rev. Mr. Stephen Surovic S.J.
  • The West York Area High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Jessica Do, Andrew Doersam, Ben Eubank, Thomas Markey, Vanja Pejic, Michelle Renn, Samantha Rundle and Jason Stover. The teacher coach is Diane Johnson, and the attorney advisor is Judge Richard Renn.
  • The Woodland Hills High School Mock Trial Team is composed of Jeffrey Eldridge, Bradley Glasser, David Greve, Lauren Heidingsfelder, Sean Herrle, Alexander Laun, Kristina Lustig and Taurean Webb. The teacher coach is Richard J. Stanczak, and the attorney advisors are Karen Bonvalot, Jamie Glasser and Stephanie Schwoegl.
  • The Wyoming Seminary Mock Trial Team is composed of Jason Beck, Ross Feinstein, Rachel Fischbein, Jan Michalko, Erik Sam, Robert Silverblatt, Alyssa Storm and Jessica Wilcox. The teacher coach is Charlotte Levy, and the attorney advisors are Richard Hughes and Al Flora Jr.

For more information on the 2005 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships or to read this year’s case, visit the PBA Web site at www.pabar.org/yldstatewidemock.asp.