2021 PBA Statewide Mock Trial Competition Turns Virtual, 233 Teams from Nearly 200 High Schools Set to Compete

HARRISBURG (Jan. 26, 2021) —The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for many, including high school students. In an effort to continue the annual tradition and instill some normalcy, the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition will be held virtually this year, with 233 teams from 199 high schools across Pennsylvania set to compete this month in district and regional levels.

Sponsored by the PBA Young Lawyers Division, Pennsylvania’s mock trial program is now in its 38th year and is one of the largest in the nation.

“Students from across the commonwealth have enjoyed and benefited from this mock trial competition since 1983, and we wanted to continue on with it to help give them a sense of normalcy,” said PBA Young Lawyers Division Chair Colin O’Boyle. “However, the health and safety of our competitors and the many volunteers is a top priority and so adjustments had to be made. Our outstanding mock trial team, led by co-chairs Jonathan Koltash and Jennifer Menichini, made the tough decision in advance of the school year to host the event remotely. I agree with them that the benefits of holding a virtual competition far outweigh the challenges, including writing new rules and procedures. We believe that participating Pennsylvania students will continue to lead the way nationwide and that, while different, this year’s competition will be every bit as powerful, meaningful and fun as it has been in years past.”

During the competition, eight-member student teams are given the opportunity to argue both sides of the case 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 and sometimes judges 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, 16 high school mock trial teams will advance to the PBA Statewide Mock Trial Championships, March 26 and 27.

The winning team of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals to be held virtually May 13 – 15.

This year’s hypothetical case, Estate of George Romero v. Ashley Williams, is a criminal trial to determine whether the defendant is guilty of murdering George Romero with a chemical the defendant prepared.

The case was written by Jonathan A. Grode and Paul W. Kaufman, both of Philadelphia. Grode and Kaufman have been involved in the drafting of these materials for the past seven years.

For more information about the 2021 PBA Statewide Mock Trial Championships and to read this year’s case, visit https://www.pabar.org/site/For-the-Public/Mock-Trial-Competition. Interested volunteers should contact the PBA’s Maria Engles 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 of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.

Teams participating in the 2021 Statewide Mock Trial Competition are from the following schools:

REGION A

Allegheny County

  • Allderdice High School
  • Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh
  • Avonworth High School
  • Eden Christian Academy
  • Fox Chapel Area High School
  • Hillel Academy
  • Montour High School
  • Moon Area High School
  • Mount Lebanon High School (Two teams)
  • Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School
  • Pine-Richland High School (Two teams)
  • Pittsburgh CAPA
  • Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy
  • Quaker Valley High School
  • Saint Joseph High School
  • Seton-LaSalle High School
  • Sewickley Academy
  • Shady Side Academy
  • Shaler Area High School
  • South Fayette High School
  • Springdale High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Upper St. Clair High School
  • West Mifflin High School
  • Winchester Thurston School
  • Woodland Hills High School

REGION B

Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence counties

  • Ambridge Area High School
  • Beaver Area High School (Two teams)
  • Blackhawk High School
  • Butler Area High School
  • Freeport High School
  • Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
  • Moniteau Jr/Sr High School
  • New Brighton Area Senior High School
  • North Catholic High School
  • Riverside/Lincoln High School
  • Seneca Valley Senior High School

Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, Warren counties

  • Cranberry Area High School
  • Fort LeBoeuf High School
  • Grove City High School
  • Lakeview High School
  • Meadville Area Senior High School
  • Northwestern High School

Bradford, Lackawanna, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming counties

  • Abington Heights High School
  • Holy Cross High School
  • Honesdale High School
  • Mid Valley High School
  • North Pocono High School
  • Scranton Preparatory School
  • Valley View High School

Carbon, Monroe, Pike counties

  • Delaware Valley High School
  • East Stroudsburg High School North
  • East Stroudsburg High School South
  • Jim Thorpe Area High School
  • Palmerton High School
  • Pocono Mountain East High School (Two teams)
  • Pocono Mountain West High School

REGION C

Indiana, Somerset, Westmoreland counties

  • Derry Area High School
  • Franklin Regional High School
  • Greensburg Salem High School
  • Kiski Area High School
  • Penn-Trafford High School

Greene, Fayette, Washington counties

  • Canon-McMillan High School
  • Frazier High School
  • Peters Township High School
  • Ringgold High School
  • Trinity High School

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Mifflin counties

  • Altoona Area High School
  • Bedford High School
  • Bellwood — Antis High School
  • Bishop McCort Catholic High School
  • Central Cambria High School
  • Central High School
  • Forest Hills High School
  • Tyrone Area High School
  • Windber Area High School

Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Jefferson counties

  • Bald Eagle Area High School
  • Bellefonte Area High School
  • Dubois Area High School
  • DuBois Central Catholic High School
  • Montoursville High School
  • Punxsutawney Area High School
  • State College Area High School

Cameron, Elk, McKean, Potter counties

  • Brockway Area High School
  • Coudersport Jr./Sr. High School
  • Kane Area High School
  • Oswayo Valley High School
  • Otto Eldred High School
  • Port Allegany High School
  • Saint Mary's Area High School
  • Smethport High School

REGION D

Berks, Lehigh, Northampton counties

  • Allentown Central Catholic High School
  • Bethlehem Catholic High School
  • Daniel Boone Area High School
  • Easton Area High School
  • Emmaus High School
  • Exeter Township High School
  • Fleetwood Area High School
  • Nazareth Area High School
  • Northampton High School
  • Parkland High School
  • Pen Argyl Area High School
  • Schuylkill Valley High School

Luzerne, Schuylkill counties

  • Dallas High School
  • Hazleton Area High School
  • MMI Preparatory School (Two teams)
  • Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School

Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon, Perry counties

  • Bishop McDevitt High School
  • Cumberland Valley High School (Two teams)
  • Eastern Lebanon County High School
  • Milton Hershey School
  • SciTech High School
  • Trinity High School (Two teams)

York, Adams counties

  • Kennard-Dale High School
  • Northern High School
  • Red Land High School
  • Spring Grove High School (Four Teams)

Lancaster County

  • Conestoga Valley High School
  • J.P. McCaskey High School
  • Lancaster Catholic High School
  • Lancaster Country Day School
  • Penn Manor High School

REGION E

Chester County

  • Bishop Shanahan High School (Two teams)
  • Conestoga High School
  • Devon Preparatory School (Two teams)
  • Downingtown West High School
  • Great Valley High School
  • Henderson High School
  • Kennett High School
  • Malvern Preparatory School
  • Owen J. Roberts High School
  • Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School (PALCS) (Two teams)
  • Villa Maria Academy High School
  • West Chester East High School

Delaware County

  • Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
  • Archbishop John Carroll High School
  • Delaware County Christian School
  • Garnet Valley High School
  • Episcopal Academy (Two teams)
  • Marple-Newtown High School
  • Merion Mercy Academy (Two teams)
  • Monsignor Bonner High School & Archbishop Prendergast High School
  • Penn Wood High School
  • Ridley High School (Two teams)
  • Strath Haven High School
  • Upper Darby High School

Bucks County

  • Bensalem High School
  • Central Bucks High School East
  • Central Bucks High School South (Two teams)
  • Central Bucks High School West
  • Council Rock High School South (Two teams)
  • Holicong Middle School
  • Holy Ghost Preparatory School
  • Lenape Middle School
  • Villa Joseph Marie High School (Two teams)
  • Pennridge High School
  • Plumstead Christian School
  • UNAMI Middle School

REGION F

Philadelphia County

  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Academy at Palumbo High School (Two teams)
  • CAPA
  • Central High School (Two teams)
  • Franklin Learning Center High School
  • Germantown Friends School (Two teams)
  • Imhotep Institute Charter High School
  • John W. Hallahan Catholic Girl's High School
  • Julia R. Masterman High School (Two teams)
  • Little Flower Catholic High School
  • Northeast High School
  • Philadelphia Academy Charter School
  • Roman Catholic High School (Four teams)
  • Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School (Two teams)
  • Science Leadership Academy Beeber
  • The Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School
  • William Penn Charter School

REGION G

Montgomery County

  • Abington Senior High School
  • Gwynedd Mercy Academy
  • Harriton High School
  • Hatboro-Horsham High School
  • Friends Central School (Two teams)
  • Jack Barrack Hebrew Academy
  • Jenkintown High School (Two teams)
  • La Salle College High School (Two teams)
  • Lower Merion High School (Two teams)
  • Lower Moreland High School (Two teams)
  • Methacton High School
  • Mount St. Joseph Academy
  • 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)
  • Upper Dublin High School
  • Wissahickon High School (Two teams)

 

 

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