01-24-18

HARRISBURG (Jan. 24, 2018) —This month, 291 teams from 249 high schools across Pennsylvania will be competing in district and regional levels of the Statewide Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

Pennsylvania’s mock trial program, now in its 35th year, is one of the largest in the nation.

“Throughout its history, the competition has offered students the opportunity to learn about the laws and the courts and to build important communication and teamwork skills that will serve them well throughout their lifetimes,” said Jonathan D. Koltash of Harrisburg, chair of the association’s Young Lawyers Division and co-chair of the Mock Trial Executive Committee. “I know firsthand the amount of time, effort and energy that goes into planning and executing this program each year, and extend my deep appreciation and gratitude to the hundreds of teacher, lawyer and community member volunteers who make it such a success time again.”

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. Lawyers and community leaders serve as jurors for the mock 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 district and regional levels of the competition will continue throughout February and March. At the conclusion of the local competitions, 14 high school mock trial teams will advance to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, March 23 and 24, in Harrisburg.  

The winning team of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals to be held May 10 – 12 in Reno, Nev.

The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, is providing funding support for the statewide competition.

Serving along with Koltash as co-chair of the Mock Trial Executive Committee is Jennifer Menichini of Scranton.

This year’s hypothetical case is a civil trial to determine whether the plaintiff, who exposed a fellow colleague’s alleged bribery, was withdrawn an offer to her employer’s Leadership Development Program in retaliation against her whistleblowing to cover up the bribe or a business decision to cut ties with an unreliable employee.

The case was written by Jonathan A. Grode of Philadelphia, Paul W. Kaufman of Philadelphia, Koltash and Talia Charme-Zane, an alumna of the Pennsylvania mock trial program and former captain of the Central High School team in Philadelphia, with assistance from Michael Schwoerer.

For more information about the 2018 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships and to read this year’s case, go to the Young Lawyers Division’s section. Interested volunteers should contact Maria Engles of the Pennsylvania Bar Association at 800-932-0311, extension 2223.

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 26,000 lawyers who are members of the association.

Teams participating in the 2018 Statewide Mock Trial Competition are from the following schools:

REGION 1 – Allegheny County

  • Baldwin High School
  • Bethel Park High School
  • Chartiers Valley High School
  • Eden Christian Academy
  • Fox Chapel Area High School
  • Gateway Senior High School
  • Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
  • Montour High School
  • North Allegheny Senior High School
  • Pine-Richland High School
  • Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
  • Pittsburgh Obama Academy
  • Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy
  • Quaker Valley High School
  • Saint Joseph High School
  • Seton LaSalle High School
  • Sewickley Academy
  • Shaler Area High School
  • South Fayette High School
  • South Park High School
  • Springdale Jr./Sr. High School
  • Taylor Allderdice High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Upper St. Clair High School
  • Vincentian Academy
  • West Allegheny High School

REGION 2 – Northwest

District 1: (Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties)

  • Ambridge Area High School
  • Beaver Area High School (three teams)
  • Blackhawk High School
  • Butler Area High School (two teams)
  • Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School
  • Central Valley High School
  • Freeport Area High School
  • Hopewell High School
  • Moniteau High School
  • Neshannock High School
  • New Brighton Area Senior High School
  • New Castle High School
  • Quigley Catholic High School
  • Riverside High School
  • Seneca Valley High School (two teams)
  • Wilmington Area High School

District 2: (Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties)

  • Conneaut Area Senior High School
  • Cranberry Area Jr./Sr. High School
  • Fort LeBoeuf High School
  • Grove City High School
  • McDowell High School
  • Meadville Area Senior High School
  • Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy
  • Northwestern High School
  • Sheffield Area Middle High School

REGION 3 – Southwest 

District 1: (Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland counties)

  • Derry Area High School
  • Franklin Regional Senior High School
  • Greater Latrobe High School
  • Greensburg Salem High School
  • Kiski Area High School
  • Penn-Trafford High School
  • Southmoreland Senior High School
  • Valley High School
  • Yough High School

District 2: (Greene, Fayette and Washington counties)

  • Connellsville Area Senior High School
  • Fort Cherry/Burgettstown Jr./Sr. High School
  • Frazier High School
  • Peter Township High School
  • Ringgold High School
  • Trinity High School (two teams)

District 3: (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Mifflin counties)

  • Altoona Area High School (two teams)
  • Bedford High School
  • Bellwood-Antis High School
  • Bishop McCort Catholic High School
  • Central Cambria High School
  • Central High School (two teams)
  • Forest Hills High School
  • Huntingdon Area High School
  • Richland High School
  • Tyrone Area High School (two teams)
  • Windber Area High School

REGION 4 – Northcentral

District 1: (Centre, Clearfield, Clinton and Jefferson counties)

  • Bald Eagle Area High School
  • Bellefonte Area Senior High School
  • Brockway Area High School
  • DuBois Area High School
  • DuBois Central Catholic High School
  • Grace Preparatory School
  • Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy
  • State College Area High School

District 2: (Union, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Tioga counties)

  • Galeton Area High School
  • Central Mountain High School
  • Montoursville Area High School

District 3:  (Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter counties)

  • Bradford Area High School
  • Coudersport Jr./Sr. High School
  • Kane Area High School
  • Oswayo Valley High School
  • Otto-Eldred High School
  • Smethport Area High School

REGION 5 – East Central

District 1: (Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties)

  • Allentown Central Catholic High School
  • Antietam Middle-Senior High School
  • Berks Catholic High School
  • Bethlehem Catholic High School
  • Boyertown Area Senior High School
  • Brandywine Heights High School
  • Easton Area High School
  • Emmaus High School (two teams)
  • Exeter Township Senior High School
  • Fleetwood Area High School
  • Nazareth Area High School
  • Northampton High School
  • Notre Dame High School
  • Parkland High School
  • Pen Argyl Area High School
  • Saucon Valley High School
  • Schuylkill Valley High School
  • Tulpehocken Area Jr./Sr. High School
  • Wilson High School 

District 2: (Luzerne and Schuylkill counties)

  • Blue Mountain High School
  • Dallas High School
  • Hazleton Area High School
  • Holy Redeemer High School
  • MMI Preparatory School
  • Pittston Area Senior High School
  • Tunkhannock Area High School
  • Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School

REGION 6 – Southcentral

District 1: (Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon and Perry counties)

  • Big Springs High School
  • Bishop McDevitt High School
  • Central Dauphin High School
  • Cumberland Valley Christian School
  • Cumberland Valley High School (two teams)
  • Milton Hershey School
  • Sci-Tech High School
  • Susquenita High School
  • Trinity High School

District 2: (Adams and York counties)

  • Dover Area High School
  • Kennard-Dale High School
  • Northern High School
  • Red Lion Area High School
  • Spring Grove High School (four teams)
  • West York Area High School
  • York Catholic High School

District 3: (Lancaster County)

  • Cocalico High School
  • Conestoga Valley High School
  • Hempfield High School
  • J.P. McCaskey High School (two teams)
  • Lancaster Catholic High School
  • Lancaster Country Day School
  • Manheim Township High School (two teams)
  • Penn Manor High School
  • Solanco High School

REGION 7 – SOUTHEAST

District 1: (Chester County)

  • B. Reed Henderson High School
  • Bishop Shanahan High School (two teams)
  • Conestoga High School
  • Devon Preparatory School
  • Downingtown Area High School West
  • Downingtown STEM Academy
  • Great Valley High School
  • Kennett High School (two teams)
  • Malvern Preparatory School
  • PA Leadership Charter School (two teams)
  • Villa Maria Academy High School
  • West Chester East High School
  • Westtown School

District 2: (Delaware County)

  • Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
  • Archbishop John Carroll High School
  • Cardinal O’Hara High School
  • Delaware County Christian School (two teams)
  • Episcopal Academy (two teams)
  • Marple Newtown High School
  • Merion Mercy Academy (two teams)
  • Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast High School
  • Penn Wood High School (two teams)
  • Penncrest High School
  • Ridley High School (two teams)
  • Springfield High School
  • Strath Haven High School

District 3: (Bucks County)

  • Bensalem High School
  • Bristol High School
  • Central Bucks High School East
  • Central Bucks High School South (two teams)
  • Central Bucks High School West
  • Council Rock High School North
  • Council Rock High School South (two teams)
  • Holicong Middle School
  • Holy Ghost Preparatory School
  • Lenape Middle School
  • New Hope-Solebury High School
  • Pennridge High School
  • Plumstead Christian School
  • Villa Joseph Marie High School

REGION 8 – Philadelphia

  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia
  • CAPA
  • Central High School (two teams)
  • Constitution High School
  • Esperanza Academy Charter High School
  • Franklin Learning Center
  • Germantown Friends School (three teams)
  • Girard Academic Music School GAMP
  • Imhotep Institute Charter High School
  • Institute for the Development of African-American Youth
  • Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls
  • Northeast High School
  • Overbrook High School
  • Roman Catholic High School (four teams)
  • Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School (two teams)
  • SLA Beeber
  • Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
  • The Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School
  • William Penn Charter School (two teams)

REGION 9 – Montgomery County

  • Abington Senior High School
  • Friends Central School (two teams)
  • Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School
  • Harriton High School
  • Hatboro-Horsham High School
  • Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (two teams)
  • Jenkintown High School (two teams)
  • La Salle College High School
  • Lower Merion High School
  • Lower Moreland High School (two teams)
  • Methacton High School (two teams)
  • Mount Saint Joseph Academy (two teams)
  • North Penn High School
  • Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (two teams)
  • Saint Basil Academy
  • Souderton Area High School
  • Springfield Township High School
  • The Baldwin School
  • The Haverford School (two teams)
  • The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia
  • Upper Dublin High School
  • Wissahickon High School

REGION 10 – Northeast

District 1: (Bradford, Lackawanna, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties) Abington Heights High School

  • Carbondale Area Jr./Sr. High School
  • Dunmore High School
  • Holy Cross High School
  • Honesdale High School
  • Lakeland Jr./Sr. High School
  • Mid Valley High School
  • North Pocono High School
  • Old Forge High School
  • Scranton High School
  • Scranton Preparatory School
  • Valley View High School
  • Western Wayne High School

District 2: (Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties)

  • Delaware Valley High School
  • East Stroudsburg High School North
  • East Stroudsburg High School South
  • Jim Thorpe Area High School
  • Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School
  • Palmerton High School
  • Pleasant Valley High School
  • Pocono Mountain East High School
  • Pocono Mountain West High School




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