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Delaware Docket Newsletter

DELAWARE HOSTS 25th ANNUAL NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Mock Trial photo
Georgia Team in Trial

Forty-two teams from across the United States, as well as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and South Korea, arrived in Wilmington to participate in the 25th Annual High School Mock Trial Championship held this year on May 7th-11th. Each of these teams had previously won the championship in their home jurisdiction and came to Wilmington ready to take on an even greater challenge in the 25th Annual High School Mock Trial.

First place winner of the National Championship again this year was Jonesboro High School from Georgia, while second place went to Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, and third place went to Delaware’s own Charter School of Wilmington. But it is not just these teams who were winners. All students who participated in the mock trial competition, both at the national and state levels, won by developing important life-time skills, such as public speaking and logical analysis, as well as by learning more about the justice system. They also enjoyed meeting other participants at social events organized by Delaware’s Host Committee, which included a dinner cruise on the Twin Capes Ferry complete with a fireworks display over the Delaware River, and a banquet for over 1,000 participants at the Riverfront at which Chief Justice Myron T. Steele and Governor Ruth Ann Minner recognized the team members and other guests.

Mock Trial Winners
Students from Jonesboro High School, Georgia took First Place in the National High School Mock Trial Championship

Making all of this possible was a tremendous effort which involved the generous contributions of time and money by a wide range of local groups and individuals. Overall planning for the event was spearheaded by a steering committee chaired by Judge Joseph R. Slights III of the Superior Court, Francis J. (Pete) Jones Jr., Esq. of Morris James LLP, and Franny M. Haney, of the Administrative Office of the Courts. Ms. Haney stated that “the committee wishes to offer special thanks to the many security forces which provided officers to ensure the safety and security of all participants and to the organizations that sponsored the mock trial through financial donations, as well as to the over 150 individuals who volunteered their time to help plan for the mock trial and to assist behind the scenes with such tasks as registration, helping with social events, and collecting and delivering scoring sheets.”

Mock Trial Charter School
Delaware's own Charter School of Wilmington placed third in the National High School Mock Trial Championship

Other important assistance was provided by the hundreds of judges, attorneys, and other individuals from Delaware and participating jurisdictions who volunteered to serve as and work with the judge volunteers.  “In the true spirit of the First State, the members of our legal community stepped right up, generously devoting their time and talents on every level,” said Cathy James, judge volunteer coordinator for the event.  “From the case writers, who provided the student competitors with a unique case with a Delaware corporate law perspective, to the judges and lawyers from all three counties who scored and presided over the competition panels and the attorneys, paralegals, and courthouse staff who escorted them to the courtrooms, everyone worked together to provide the students with a first rate competition.”  The visiting judges and attorneys, who traveled here to participate from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, and the Northern Mariana Islands, had so many positive things to say about the experience.  Said Judge Jeff Ginsberg of Ohio, “I could tell this was really three years in the making and I can’t imagine how it could have been done any better.  I suspect people will be talking about the Delaware mock trials for many years to come.”  “I cannot think of a better first visit to Wilmington, Delaware!!” said Sally Evans, an attorney from Atlanta, Georgia, the next National Championship host state.

All of these volunteers, along with the coaches and team members should be congratulated on making the 25th National High School Mock Trial a resounding success!

Kentucky Mock Trial Team pin exchanges Kentucky Mock Trial Team
The Kentucky Team is all smiles showing off their pin exchanges.

Mock Trail participants aboard the Twin Capes Ferry Fireworks aboard the Twin Capes Ferry
Dancing (Philadelphia Team) and fireworks aboard the Twin Capes Ferry

COMMENTS ON THE NATIONAL MOCK TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP HOSTED BY DELAWARE:

Please accept a heartfelt “thank you” from the New Mexico contingent for the splendidly-administered national mock trial championship we all attended. Our team, judge and board members who went to Delaware had a wonderful time and appreciate more than we can say all of the efforts to provide this outstanding educational and fun opportunity for so many.

I was a member on the Cheyenne, Wyoming High School Mock Trial team. I would like to extend my very grateful thanks for all of your time and hard work. This year’s National Mock Trial Competition was my first and it is definitely an experience I will not soon forget. Everything from the opening reception to the Twin Capes to the awards ceremony was wonderful.

This was my fourth Nationals. It was, without a question, the best run and the most welcoming. Your army of volunteers did a wonderful job.

For me, the four days in Wilmington will remain a “mountain-peak” moment in my teaching career. A huge thank you for all your time and effort; from the excellent judges and facilities to the Twin Capes cruise, you gave us a first-class experience.

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